Hinckley Reservation webpage
Hinckley Reservation map
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A hike around Hinckley Lake on the three-mile paved All Purpose Trail will provide a good introduction to the area, and should provide a good representation of species. This trail is also well-populated with joggers and bikers, especially in summer and on weekends. In general, the All Purpose Trail is adjacent to West and East Drives; however, a dirt hiking trail follows the immediate shoreline most of the way around the Lake, and therefore offers better birding, but won’t get you into any “deep woods” areas. From time to time, the hiking trail around the Lake will empty out onto the paved trail; in general, just stay as close to the Lake as possible.
The northern end of the Lake, near the dam, offers the deepest water and accordingly the best chances at locating any diving waterfowl which might happen to briefly touch down in migration, although the Lake is not particularly adept at attracting this group. The southern end of the Lake, where the Rocky River empties into it, is quite shallow and attracts dabbling ducks, shorebirds when the water is low enough, and herons and egrets. All in all, Hinckley Reservation is more properly known for its woodland birds rather than its water birds, although the Lake often harbors interesting migrants before the canoers and row boaters hit the waters.
To begin a hike around Hinckley Lake, enter West Drive from Bellus Road and continue to a road on the left marked “Boat House” and “Johnson’s Picnic Area”. Turn here and drive to the picnic area at the end of the road, passing the boathouse. (The Ohio Ornithological Society link below has more details about this hike.)
From Ohio Ornithological Society website
About Hinckley Reservation–Hinckley Lake Loop Trail
3.4 miles. This trail provides many opportunities for viewing wading birds and waterfowl as it winds around Hinckley Lake.
Tips for birding Hinckley Reservation
Ohio Birding Day Hike: Hinckley Reservation Trails
About the Hinckley Reservation
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.