Clinton 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.
This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Clinton County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
Melvin Quarry Pits
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
As you pass through Wilmington on US-22 and OH-3 going east, the Melvin Quarry is 3.75 miles from the OH-73 interchange.
The pond in this quarry attracts ducks and geese in the winter. Please, view birds from the roadside only.
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
From the Melvin Quarry Pits, turn right onto US-22 west and drive 4.4 miles. Turn left onto Davids Drive and go 1.2 miles. Turn right onto Fife Avenue and drive .9 mile. Turn left onto Darbyshire Drive and go .3 mile. Turn right onto Elm Street and arrive at the Hazard Arboretum on the left in .1 mile.
The Arboretum was founded in 1962 in Frank O. Hazard’s name. Mr. Hazard was a member of the Wilmington College faculty for 34 years. He graduated from Wilmington in 1927 and began teaching in the biology department the following year. In 1937 he was named the chairman of the biology department. He was also the Dean of Personnel and Assistant to President, Dr. Sheppard A. Watson. Mr. Hazard was a member if the Gamma Phi Gamma fraternity.
The Arboretum was originally planned for only 10 acres at the south side of campus. Today it has grown to 17 acres. The natural area adjacent to the Arboretum is about 15 acres.
Cowan Lake State Park
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
From Hazard Arboretum, drive west on Elm Street for .5 mile. Turn left onto Grant Street, Turn right onto Doan Street, and go.3 mile. Turn left onto US-68 south and drive 5.8 miles. Turn right onto OH-350 west and drive 1.4 miles. Turn right onto Beechwood Road and go .7 mile. Turn left into Cowan Lake State Park.
Cowan Lake State Park offers a peaceful setting replete with scenic inlets laden with the American Lotus water lily. Swimming, fishing, sailing, and canoeing are popular on the lake. Meandering trails through mature woodlands complement the natural features of this scenic 1,075-acre park.
A fine stand of beech-maple forest can be found around the lake at Cowan. These woodlands contain beautiful wildflowers including bloodroot, wild ginger, spring beauties and trillium. The woods, fields, and lake provide habitat for a variety of animals, including ring-neck pheasant, ducks, geese and herons. Songbirds such as eastern bluebirds, catbirds, house wrens and many others inhabit the fields and bushy areas of the park. Mammals include white-tailed deer, raccoon, opossum, woodchuck, skunk and others.
Culberson Woods State Nature Preserve
Clarksville, Ohio 45113
From Cowan Lake State Park, return to OH-350. Turn right onto OH-350 and drive 1.3 miles. Turn left onto OH-730 and drive 1 miles. Arrive at Culbertson Woods State Nature Preserve.
This area is one of the largest remnants of the distinctive “White Swamp Forest” which once covered the uplands of southwestern Ohio. The first 40-acre parcel of the preserve was a gift from Mrs. Myra Culberson in 1978 in honor of her late husband, Dean A. Culberson.
The forest grows on poorly drained, white clay soil which formed on the glacial materials deposited during the Illinoian glacial period. The swamp forest is dominated by red maple and pin oak with substantial stands of shagbark hickory, shellbark hickory, swamp white oak, American elm, and sweetgum. The northern shrub, winterberry, grows here near its southern limit, while the sweetgum, a southern species, is near its northern limit.
Summer wildflowers include purple fringeless orchid and cardinal flower. The state-listed northern fox grape also occurs here.
Clarksville, Ohio 45113
From Culbertson Woods State Nature Preserve, drive north on OH-730 for 4 miles. Turn left onto Ogden Road and drive 1.1. miles. Continue straight onto Halpin Road and go .9 mile. Turn right onto Pyle Road and arrive at Anliot-Davidson Woods in .9 mile.
58 acres of steep rolling topography dominated by a mixed forest of deciduous hardwoods and evergreens with white Clinton County Park District boundary posts. 0.8 miles of hiking trails. Limited bow hunting by written permission of the park board. Open to the public for passive recreation.
The final three stops on this birding drive are the eBird hotspots in Clinton County for Caesar Creek State Park.
Caesar Creek State Park–Ward Road
From Anliot-Davidson Woods, drive northwest on Pyle Road for .7 mile. Turn right onto South Clarksville Road and drive 1.2 miles. Turn left onto South Beechgrove Road and go .3 mile. Turn left onto US-22 west and go .7 mile. Turn right onto OH-380 and drive 5.4 miles. Turn left onto Brimstone Road and go 1.3 miles. Continue straight onto Ward Road and continue to the dead end to view birds on the lake. A scope is helpful at this location to view birds.
The Caesar Creek State Park area sits astride the crest of the Cincinnati Arch, a convex tilting of bedrock layers caused by an ancient upheaval. Younger rocks lie both east and west of this crest where some of the oldest rocks in Ohio are exposed. The sedimentary limestones and shales tell of a sea hundreds of millions of years in our past which once covered the state. The park’s excellent fossil finds give testimony to the life of this long vanished body of water.
The forests of the area are comprised of over 65 species of plants. Several major communities thrive in the area. A northern floodplain forest is found in the valley, while mixed associations of oak-hickory and beech-maple woodlands clothe the ridges and hillsides. Red-tail hawk, white-tail deer, raccoon, red fox and box turtle make the park their home.
Caesar Creek State Park–Mound Road
Return 1.3 miles to Brimstone Road and continue straight on Brimstone Road for another 1.3 miles. Turn left onto OH-380 north and drive 3.4 miles.Turn left onto Mound Road. At the end of the road, go past the road closed sign to the next parking area.
When the water level is drawn down, this is the best area on the lake for shorebirds. There is also an Osprey nesting platform in the area.
Caesar Creek Lake Wildlife Area–Young Road
Return to OH-380 on Mount Road. Merge onto OH-380 north and drive 1.3 miles. Turn left onto Roxanna New Burlington Road and go 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Cornstalk Road and then continue onto Compton Road. Drive 1.3 miles and continue straight onto Young Road.
Young Road provides views of the lake. A scope is helpful.