Brown County Birding Drive
Ohio Birding Drives are routes for birding trips which can be accomplished in one day, stopping to walk and bird at various eBird hotspots. For each birding drive, a Google map is provided with the route and suggested stops at eBird hotspots. You may save the link to the Google map on your smartphone or tablet, or print a copy on paper to take with you. Links are provided with information about each eBird hotspot. Follow those links for more information about birding each location.
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
Brown County is one of Ohio’s “under-birded” counties (fewer than 1000 eBird checklists). This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in the county. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
Brown County Water Improvement District
Ripley, Ohio 45167
The Brown County Water Improvement District is located on US-52 about 47 miles southeast of Cincinnati, on the Ohio River between Higginsport and Ripley.
This is Ohio ’s first eagle nest located on the Ohio River in modern times! The nest is located on Brown County Rural Water Association property, 2 miles east of Higginsport at 3818 US-52. A viewing area, constructed by Brown County Rural Water with parking for 20 vehicles and picnic tables, provides excellent viewing opportunities. Binoculars and spotting scopes are recommended to aid in viewing.
East Branch Bullskin Creek Falls @ OH-505
Georgetown, Ohio 45121
From the Brown County Water Improvement District, take US-52 northwest to OH-505. Turn right on OH-505.
Though this stop doesn’t provide access to a large area it is still worth checking out because in addition to a wide variety of birds there is also a beautiful riparian habitat that includes a stunning waterfall. As you head North on OH-505 out of Higgensport, go 2.6 miles. As soon as you cross the bridge over Creek you will see a pull off on the left. Park here and you will see a path over a pile of dirt put there to keep vehicles out by the road. If you follow the dirt road back you will end up at the falls. Only a small area is accessible, but many woodland stream species can be found here including Louisiana Water Thrush, Acadian Flycatcher, Northern Parula, Scarlet Tanager, Eastern Wood Peewee, Wood Thrush, Yellow-throated Warbler, and many more. This was always a favorite stop of mine while conducting surveys for the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas project.
Locals use this area to camp and swim from time to time. Be careful when pulling back out on 505 because there is a very sharp corner to the left out of the parking area.
Grant Lake Wildlife Area
Mount Orab, Ohio 45154
Drive north on OH-505 for 7.8 miles toward Skiffsville Road. Turn left onto OH-125. Drive 1.3 miles and turn right onto North Avenue. In .2 mile make a slight right onto OH-774 east. Drive 6.8 miles and turn left onto Oakland-Locust Ridge Road, then turn right onto Lake Grant Road.
There is a boat ramp on Lake Grant Road on the west side of Grant Lake which provides a place to view birds on the lake.
Indian Creek Wildlife Area
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
From Grant Lake Wildlife Area, head north on Grant Lake Road. Turn right on County Road 142B and then turn right on Carpenter Road. When you reach US-68 turn left (north) and follow US-68 for 11.8 miles to US-50. Turn right on US-50. In .8 miles turn right onto Snowhill Road.
Indian Creek Wildlife Area–Snowhill Road
The first stop in the Indian Creek Wildlife Area is the parking area just past the area Headquarters on the south side of Snowhill Road.
Indian Creek Wildlife Area–Greentree Marsh
The second stop is at Greentree Marsh. Continue east on Snowhill Road which turns into Murray Corner Road. There is parking to the right on Campbell Road and on Murray Corner Road.
Indian Creek Wildlife Area–Turner Road
The third stop is on Turner Road. Turn right off Murray Corner Road onto Turner Road. There are several parking areas along Turner Road from which you can explore the area.
The 1,799-acre Indian Creek Wildlife Area is one mile east of Fayetteville in northern Brown County. County and township roads provide good access to the area from US-50 and US-68.
The terrain is very flat, except for the narrow valleys of Indian Creek and Little Indian Creek, which flow westerly through the area. Approximately 60 percent of the area is open land, consisting of crop fields intermixed with fields of broomsedge and scattered sassafras, soft maple, pin oak, and gum. The remainder is divided equally between woods and brush. Pin oak, hickory, soft maple, and beech are the principal tree species. Cottonwood and sycamore are common along the streams.
Bott Wildlife Area
Blanchester, Ohio 45107
From Turner Road, drive to Murray Corner Road. Follow Murray Corner Road and US-50 west to Fayetteville Blanchester Road. Turn right onto Fayetteville Blanchester Road and follow it to Woodville Road. Take Woodville Road to Graner Road. Arrive at Bott Wildlife Area.
This 168-acre wildlife area is approximately 2 miles due south of Blanchester and is accessible from the Fayetteville-Blanchester Road on the east and Woodville Road on the west. The majority of the area is in Brown County with approximately 18 acres in Clermont County. The terrain is very flat to gently rolling. Approximately 50 percent is in grassland, 25 percent is mature woods, and 25 percent is brushland.