Hinckley Reservation–Buckeye Trail
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Hinckley Reservation Trails
Tips for birding the Buckeye Trail in Hinckley Reservation
On West Drive just past the turn off to the boathouse, you will come to another entrance (on the left) to the other side of Johnson’s Picnic Area. Park in this lot. Opposite this parking lot the Buckeye Trail and a bridle trail share the same space in this lush little valley, paralleling the same permanent stream that cuts through the Johnson’s Picnic Area. One or two pairs of Louisiana Waterthrushes nest here every year, being most easily found from mid-April through June when singing. On good migration days, this stretch of trail can really be hopping. Other nesting species here include Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Hooded Warbler. A Cerulean Warbler is usually on territory right at the entrance to the parking area. Barred Owls and Pileated Woodpeckers are permanent residents.
This valley is also excellent for spring wildflowers, beginning in early April, and peaking in late April through early to mid-May. Some species to be found here commonly are Bloodroot, Blue Cohosh, Cut-leaved Toothwort, Dutchmen’s Breeches, Foamflower, Wild Geranium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Mayapple, Purple Cress, Round-lobed Hepatica, Wild Blue Phlox, Rue Anemone, Spring Beauty, Squirrel Corn, Large-flowered Trillium, Purple Trillium, Trout Lily, Twinleaf, and Wild Leek.
Walking on this trail, you will soon come to a split; the right fork crosses the stream and takes you to the west, eventually tying into the Kiwanis Reserved Picnic Area on Kellogg Road (on the western boundary of the park), and the equestrian area on Hinckley Hills Road (in the northwestern corner of the park). If you choose to continue straight ahead, the bridle trail will take you to the east, crossing State Road, and much later, will dump you out on Harter Road (at the far southeastern corner of the park), several miles distant. All the bridle trails in the area quite birdy, especially in summer, and provide a “deep woods” atmosphere seldom found in northeastern Ohio. Chances are, you will only share these trails with an occasional equestrian or two. Unfortunately, the layout of the trails is linear and therefore does not allow for a complete loop, so you will need to retrace your steps. This is not such a bad thing.
From Ohio Ornithological Society
At the southern end of Cleveland Metroparks is Hinckley Reservation, the site of the nationally-known annual Return of the Buzzards. From hiking at Whipp’s Ledges to kayaking on Hinckley Lake, there are a variety of activities here for everyone.
Another attraction of the reservation is Whipp’s Ledges, with elevations rising 350 feet above Hinckley Lake and formed more than 250 million years ago.
Worden’s Ledges has unique carvings made in the 1940s by Noble Stuart, son-in-law to the namesake of the ledges, Hiram Worden. Hike the Worden’s Ledges loop trail to see the carvings.
Rising Valley, located off Newton Road, which was transferred by Hinckley Township to Cleveland Metroparks, has public access trails.
From Hinckley Reservation webpage
Restrooms at locations identified on Hinckley Reservation map.