Vickery, Ohio 43464
Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area webpage
Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area map
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Pump House Wetland looking north northeast
Photos by Vic Fazio
Pickerel Creek Dikes
The dikes at Pickerel Creek Wildlife Refuge are open to entry with two exceptions. The designated wildlife area on Pearson Road is closed to entry. During the hunting season the dikes are used for controlled waterfowl hunting. When they are open, there are many miles of trails throughout the refuge on the tops of the dikes. Access the dikes from any of the parking areas.
Pickerel Creek Pump House Dikes
Park near the Pump House for walking access to the dikes and impoundments which form the “Pump House Wetland.” This area can be good for shorebirds when the water level is drawn down. A spotting scope is helpful for observing distant birds.
It is a hike of 2-3 miles to circle the wetland. The best place to go will depend on the water level and the weather. You can walk north toward Lake Erie, passing a dike trail which goes east, to get to the wetland impoundment nearest Lake Erie. Go east at the Lake Erie end of the this impoundment and circle back south toward the Pump House Wetland. When you reach the east-west dike on the north side of the Pump House Wetland, circle the wetland, going east, then south, then back west to the Pump House parking. All of the dikes in this wildlife area are available for walking.
About Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area
During the spring and fall migrations, large numbers of waterfowl are attracted to the area. Mallard, wood duck, black duck, blue-winged teal, and green-winged teal are the most abundant species, with wigeon, pintail, gadwall, and shoveler appearing in smaller numbers. Canada geese also use the area. Other bird species include the trumpeter and tundra swans, common tern, great blue heron, great egret, black-crowned night heron, woodcock, snipe, sora, Virginia rail, and mourning dove. Bald eagles nest on the area and both adults and immatures are frequently seen year-round.
The geographic location of Pickerel Creek, along the southern shore of Lake Erie, also accounts for high numbers of songbirds, shorebirds, and hawks during the spring and fall migrations. Upland game animals and furbearers are also plentiful including cottontail rabbit, white-tailed deer, woodchuck, muskrat, raccoon, and mink.
Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area lies between the south shore of Sandusky Bay and US-6 in Townsend and Riley townships, Sandusky County. The area totals 3,200 acres. The majority of the area has been restored to wetlands with the remainder in woods, brush, and native grassland. Pickerel Creek flows through the western half of the area, forming a high-quality freshwater estuarine habitat.
The northern portion of Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area lies in the center of some of the finest wetland habitat still in existence along Sandusky Bay. Early records reveal an extensive wet prairie in this vicinity. Wild rice and other waterfowl foods grew in abundance in the clear waters of Sandusky Bay. As the surrounding land was cleared and drained for agricultural use, wetland habitat was seriously damaged. The turbid water no longer supported the huge beds of wild rice and other high-quality aquatic vegetation, and waterfowl numbers decreased.
The Division of Wildlife acquired Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area in 1987. Since this region continues to support a good waterfowl population, Pickerel Creek is presently managed as a public hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife observation area with emphasis on waterfowl and other wetland wildlife.
From Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area webpage
No restroom facilities.