Champaign County Birding Drive

Ohio Birding Drives

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.

Champaign County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

Champaign 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.

Champaign County

Maple Grove Cemetery, Mechanicsburg
Catawba-Mechanicsburg Road
Mechanicsburg, Ohio 43044

Maple Grove Cemetery is located south of Mechanicsburg on Catawba-Mechanicsburg Road. Take OH-4 southwest from Mechanicsburg for .8 mile. Turn left onto Catawba-Mechanicsburg Road. The cemetery is on the left.

The back section of the cemetery is near a woodlot. A Great Horned Owl was observed in this cemetery in 2013.

Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve
Woodburn Road
Urbana, Ohio 43078

From Maple Grove Cemetery, return to OH-4 and turn left on OH-4 south. Turn right onto Number 10 Road and then merge onto Pisgah Road, a total of 4.4 miles. Continue straight ahead onto OH-54 for 3.5 miles. Turn left onto US-68 south and drive 1.1 miles. Turn right on Woodburn Road and go .8 miles. Cedar Bog is on the left on Woodburn Road.

Cedar Bog is a boreal and prairie fen complex; many rare plants and animals; excellent orchid and prairie wildflowers. Cedar Bog is the largest and best calcareous bog or fen in Ohio. One of the most characteristic plants of this preserve is white cedar or arbor-vitae. Significant boreal, as well as prairie and coastal plain species, occur here. Some of the more unusual plants include small yellow and show lady’s-slipper orchids, smaller fringed gentian, swamp birch, shrubby cinquefoil, prairie valerian, Riddell’s goldenrod and queen-of-the-prairie.

25 warbler species have been reported here during spring migration.

This preserve is operated by the non-profit Cedar Bog Association and is owned by the Ohio History Connection. Operating days and hours vary by season. A $5 per person fee is required for admittance. Please, contact the Cedar Bog Association to learn more.

Simon Kenton Trail–OH-55 Trailhead, Urbana
Urbana, Ohio 43078

From Cedar Bog, turn left onto Woodburn Road, go .7 miles, and turn left onto US-68 north. Drive 1.1 miles and turn left onto West Hickory Grove Road. Drive 1.7 miles and turn right on OH-55 east. The OH-55 Trailhead for the Simon Kenton Trail is 1.8 miles ahead on OH-55.

The OH-55 Trailhead has a parking area where the Simon Kenton Trail crosses OH-55 southwest of Urbana.

The Simon Kenton Trail extends the Little Miami Trail corridor another 18 miles north from downtown Springfield to Urbana, Ohio.

Davey Woods State Nature Preserve
Lonesome Road
Urbana, Ohio 43078

From the OH-55 Trailhead, turn right on OH-55, go .5 miles, and turn left at the first cross street onto South Edgewood Avenue. Drive 1.3 miles and turn left onto US-36 west. Drive 2.5 miles and turn right onto Zimmerman Road. Go 1.6 miles, turn left onto Kite Neal Road, and turn right onto Smith Road. Go .5 miles and turn right onto Lonesome Road. Arrive at Davey Woods State Nature Preserve.

Davey Woods State Nature Preserve is 103 acres with majestic oaks and tulip trees; excellent spring wildflowers. This mature forest woodland has numerous large tulip trees, sugar maple, ash, and oak as well as an excellent array of spring wildflowers. It is one of the best woodlots remaining in this part of Ohio. Named in honor of the Davey Tree Expert Company which, through The Nature Conservancy, provided half the funding to acquire this site in 1989.The terrain, hilly for this part of Ohio, offers pleasant summer hiking (no mosquitoes), nice fall colors and a beautiful winter landscape.

This site features a small parking lot and 1.5 mile two-loop trail system.

Kiser Lake Wetlands State Nature Preserve
Conover, Ohio 45317

From Davey Woods State Nature Preserve, head northwest on Lonesome Road for 1.3 miles and turn right onto North Heck Hill road. Go .5 miles and turn left onto Ward Road. Drive 1.9 miles and turn right on Kiser Lake Road. Drive 1.7 miles to Kiser Lake Wetlands Nature Preserve.

Located in Champaign County within Kiser Lake State Park. The Headwaters section of Kiser Lake State Nature Preserve is located at the north end of Kiser Lake Road (County Road 19) at the headwaters of Kiser Lake. A boardwalk trail system is present.

Summer prairie and fen wildflowers including queen-of-the-prairie and shrubby cinquefoil; marsh wildlife. Alkaline fen and marsh.

Two prairie fen areas are the last vestiges of a 360-acre area known as Mosquito Lake Bog which occupied the upper Mosquito Creek Valley prior to the construction of Kiser Lake.

The Grandview Heights section in the south-central part of the park includes a meadow on the edge of the lake. The Headwaters section in the southeast part of the park includes meadows, marsh, and woods.

Unusual plant species present include shrubby cinquefoil, Kalm’s lobelia, grass-of-parnassus, smaller fringed gentian, big bluestem, queen-of-the-prairie, Ohio goldenrod and poison sumac.

Kiser Lake State Park
4889 North OH-235
Conover, Ohio 45317

From Kiser Lake Wetland State Nature Preserve, take Kiser Lake Road northwest to Kiser Lake State Park marina.

The area surrounding Kiser Lake State Park is a gift of the ice age. Two natural phenomena caused by the glaciers helped shape the region into its present form. The gently, rolling wooded hills were caused by glacial deposits in the form of end moraines when the ice edge remained stationary for a period of time, creating a linear ridge along the ice front. One such moraine called the Farmersville surrounds the lake on three sides creating a hummocky elevation through the area. Moraine deposits contain boulders, some weighing many tons, carried from as far away as Canada. These boulders, called erratics, are a familiar sight at Kiser. Another geologic feature at Kiser Lake State Park is the kame field at the southeastern end of the lake. Kames are mounds of sand and gravel that are formed by meltwater flowing across glacial ice. The water deposits sediment into holes along the ice margin leaving behind hummocky mounds.

The wetlands at Kiser are in the form of fen and wet meadow habitat. These areas were formed when blocks of ice broke away from the glacier and became covered by sand and gravel. As the climate warmed, the ice melted and left a depression filled with water surrounded by glacial deposits. These areas are filled with many intriguing plants including pitcher plant, sundew, tamarack, and spruce.

Two prairie fen areas are the last vestiges of a 360-acre area known as Mosquito Lake Bog which occupied the upper Mosquito Creek Valley prior to the construction of Kiser Lake.

The Grandview Heights section in the south-central part of the park includes a meadow on the edge of the lake. The Headwaters section in the southeast part of the park includes meadows, marsh, and woods.

Unusual plant species present include shrubby cinquefoil, Kalm’s lobelia, grass-of-pamassus, smaller fringed gentian, big bluestem, queen-of-the-prairie, Ohio goldenrod and poison sumac.

Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve
West Liberty, Ohio 43357

From Kiser Lake State Park, drive north on Kiser Lake Road for .4 miles. Turn right for .5 miles and turn left onto Ford Road. Follow Ford Road for 1.9 miles and turn right onto OH-29 east. Go 2.5 miles and continue straight onto 9 Mile Road. Go 1.5 miles and turn left onto Calland Road. Drive 1.5 miles and turn right onto Couchman Road. In .4 miles arrive at Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve.

Siegenthaler-Esker’s 37 acres were donated by Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn L. Siegenthaler whose generosity has ensured that this landscape will continue to inspire the curiosity of future generations.

An esker is a narrow ridge of stratified material (till that has been sorted and deposited in layers according to grain size by running water). Steep sides and a sinuous shape are common features. Most eskers were formed in tunnels carved through the lowest level of the glacier by meltwater streams. When the glacier finally melted away, the rocks, sand, and gravel dropped in the bed of the stream remained as an esker to mark its course.
Eskers are usually discontinuous and this one is no exception. The ridge just south of the main esker is part of the same ancient streambed.

The ridge to the west represents a separate channel cut through the ice. It is lower and wider than the main esker, which may indicate that it is made of a different mix of sand and gravel, or may reflect an unknown change of conditions in the melting ice sheet. The small knolls north of the eskers are kames, piles of gravel dropped into pits and crevices in the glacier by meltwater streams flowing on top of the ice. The small pond to the east is known as a kettle and was formed when a block of ice was left behind and was surrounded by till. When it melted, a depression remained which filled with ground water. Eskers, kames and kettles are called ice contact features because they were formed in or against ice.

The wide, flat valley west of the eskers is an outwash channel made of gravel melted out of the glacier and deposited in sheets in front of its retreating edge. The presence of outwash and ice contact features show the ice was stagnant or in retreat when they were made. During the formation of this landscape, the glacier was melting back to the north and the meltwater streams were flowing south.

Pottersburg Bridge Trail (Champaign County)
North Lewisburg, Ohio 43060

From Siegenthaler-Kaestner Esker State Nature Preserve, head east on Couchman Road for 3.2 miles. Turn right onto Hite Road and go .5 miles. Turn left at the first cross street onto Sullivan road and go 1 mile. Continue straight onto Upper Valley Pike and drive 1.3 miles. Continue straight onto Mennonite Church Road and drive 2.3 miles. Turn right onto Game Farm Road and go .5 miles. Turn left onto East Kanagy Road and drive 1.6 miles. Turn right onto OH-245 and follow OH-245 for 8.5 miles. Turn left onto Cherry Street and arrive at the Pottersburg Bridge Trail on Spain Creek.

The Pottersburg Bridge Trail is a multi-use path to the village of North Lewisburg. The trail begins at the Pottersburg Bridge which is in Union County. Most of the trail and North Lewisburg is in Champaign County.

lake-county-map