Oak Openings Preserve Metropark webpage
Oak Openings Preserve map
Oak Openings Trails webpage
Oak Openings Preserve recommended birding sites
Also, see Oak Openings Preserve Metropark
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The Evergreen Trail, blazed in orange, is 1.9 miles, begins at Oak Openings Lodge and passes through large stands of non-native red and scotch pines, spruce, and fir, as well as open areas and small sand dunes. Some of the park’s beautiful colonies of lichens and moss can be seen here as well.
Note: The pines, which were planted decades ago for erosion control, are reaching the end of their natural life and some have been removed for safety reasons. They are not being replaced, as Metroparks continues its efforts to restore the rare, natural Oak Openings prairie and savanna habitats.
Tips for birding Oak Openings
Ohio Birding Day Hike: Oak Openings Preserve Metropark Trails
About Oak Openings
Located between Whitehouse and Swanton, Oak Openings Preserve takes its name from the surrounding region, which is 23 times larger than the park itself. That’s something to consider when you realize that Oak Openings Preserve is over 4,000 acres.
Pioneers trudging through a dense swamp called this area “Oak Openings.” Most of the park is an oak savanna ecosystem, characterized by alternating wetlands and vegetated dunes. The Nature Conservancy once named the sandy region one of the 200 “Last Great Places on Earth.”
Prickly-pear cactus, wild lupine and sand cherry bloom atop dry, hot sand dunes just yards away from orchids growing in low, wet swales. There are more than 50 miles of trails in Oak Openings Preserve. Stands of isolated pine and spruce planted by the WPA during the Great Depression are still visible.
Oak Openings is a birder’s paradise. It is the nesting place of Bluebirds, Indigo Buntings, Whippoorwills, Lark Sparrows, and many other species, as well as an excellent location to see migrating songbirds in the spring.
From Oak Openings Preserve Metropark webpage
Restrooms and handicap accessible facilities at locations identified on Oak Openings Preserve Metropark map.