Black River Reservation–Steel Mill Trail
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Ohio Birding Day Hike
Black River Reservation Trails
Tips for birding the Steel Mill Trail
Since approximately 2011, this hotspot has been a good location for Lark Sparrows in summer months. Look for the Lark Sparrows near the huge slag pile, which is between the two wooden footbridges. The slag pile is closer to the Day’s Dam entrance off East 31st Street. This area is also close to the Great Blue Heron and Double-crested Cormorant rookeries further down on the Black River–watch for heron or cormorant flyovers or look for them perched along the river. Gulls, waterfowl, and mergansers can often be seen on the river in winter months. There is a lower pond near the NE portion of the trail which can also hold gulls, waterfowl, and mergansers albeit tricky for viewing due to its location. Migrants and sparrows can be found in spring months. Indigo Buntings and Eastern Bluebirds are also common on this trail in summer months. Common Nighthawks can also be found/heard on spring/summer evenings.
From Patty McKelvey
About the Steel Mill Trail
When the Bridgeway Trail opened in 1993, the Metro Parks had a vision of extending the trail further north. This became a reality in 2008 as the Steel Mill Trail Extension was opened. The trail connects to the Bridgeway Trail at Days Dam Picnic Area and continues north through the slag fields of the U.S. Steel Mill to Colorado Ave in Lorain. The trail is about two miles long and crosses the Black River and French Creek. As you walk, bike or run along the trail the steel mill and slag fields are to one side and the natural landscape is to the other side.
About Black River Reservation
The Black River Reservation is one of the most popular parks in the Lorain County Metro Park system. The most notable feature is the Bridgeway Trail and the Steel Mill Trail. They total 5.5 miles of paved all-purpose trail that follow the Black River through its meanderings from Elyria to Lorain, spanning four city jurisdictions altogether. The reservation also features three separate picnic areas: High Meadows, Bur Oak and Day’s Dam, each contributing its own special character to the variety and natural beauty of this impressive park.
From Black River Reservation webpage
Restrooms at locations identified on Black River Reservation map.