Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve

5185 Corduroy Road
Mentor, Ohio 44060
Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve webpage
Mentor Marsh Cleveland Museum of Natural History webpage
Mentor Marsh information (Hiking Ohio Parks)

Also, see Grand River-Lower Watershed Important Bird Area and Lake County Lakeshore Birding Drive

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Lake County

Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve
Coordinates: 41.7376575, -81.300753
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Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve–Kerven Trail
Coordinates: 41.7302495, -81.3053732
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Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve–Wake Robin
Coordinates: 41.7297856, -81.3189554
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Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve–Zimmerman Trail
Coordinates: 41.744677, -81.297247
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Tips for birding Mentor Marsh
From Lake Erie Birding Trail website

Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve was Ohio’s first state nature preserve and the only remaining natural marsh along Ohio’s Lake Erie shore. It is being restored to remove invasive phragmites and return native marsh plants. The Wake Robin Trail boardwalk is an excellent place to find Virginia and Sora Rails, bitterns, Marsh and Sedge Wren and a wide variety of sparrow species including Nelson’s and LeConte’s. Zimmerman Trail offers upland forests which attract a variety of migrant songbirds.
From Birding Lake County’s Often Overlooked Birding Hotspots by Haans Petruschke

About Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve
+ Emergent marsh
+ Wildlife viewing
+ Parking
+ Visitor Center
+ 4-mile trail system including boardwalk trail and observation deck

Mentor Marsh, designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1966, occupies an ancient abandoned channel of the Grand River. A beech-sugar maple forest occupies the higher elevations bordering the marsh. At the eastern edge of the preserve, there is a mixed oak swamp forest, a forest type destroyed in most parts of the Lake Erie region. The most extensive plant community type is an emergent wetland dominated by reed-grass or Phragmites. This is the largest Phragmites marsh in Ohio. The area provides habitat for a diversity of wildlife species. Located in Lake County, 3.5 miles west on OH-283 from Painesville, proceed .5 mile north on Corduroy Road to the Mentor Marsh House.

The dominant feature of the nearly 700-acre preserve is a massive, nearly monocultural stand of giant reed, Phragmites australis. This massive grass species can tower to twelve feet or more in height. In spite of the dense Phragmites, a surprising diversity of birds use the marsh, including some noteworthy species. Mentor Marsh is owned by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and is a dedicated state nature preserve.

The best access point to the marsh is via the Wake Robin Trail, which includes a boardwalk. Recent restoration efforts have increased plant diversity along the trail, and this is the place to try for Le Conte’s and Nelson’s sparrows. A nature center, the Mentor Marsh House, is located at 5185 Corduroy Road, just east of the marsh. Consult the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for hours of operation and upcoming programs.

Interesting birding can be had year round, but fall may be the most productive season. Lots of sparrows of many species frequent the marsh vegetation, sometimes threatened by patrolling Merlins. Warblers of many species can be found in the trees that budder the marsh, along with a diversity of other songbirds. Rails and other marsh birds skulk amongst the Phragmites, including both species of bitterns.
From Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve webpage