Columbus North 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.

Columbus North Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot in a new tab or window.

This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Franklin County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.

Franklin County

Ohio State University–Wetlands
Columbus, Ohio 43210

From I-71, take Exit 112 toward Hudson Street. Turn right onto East Hudson Street and go .4 mile. Continue straight to stay on East Hudson Street for .6 mile. Turn right onto Neil Avenue for .2 mile. Thur left onto West Dodridge Street for .3 mile. Arrive at the Wetland Research Park on the right.

The Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park is a long-term, large-scale aquatic research facility located along the northern edge of The Ohio State University’s Columbus campus. The Schiermeier Wetlands is the home of the School of Environment and Natural Resources’ aquatics program and a gateway to research, teaching, and outreach related to water resources at the university. The Schiermeier Wetlands pursue basic and applied research at multiple levels of ecological organization, from microbes to ecosystems to landscapes. The Schiermeier Wetlands also provides training for undergraduate and graduate students and service to the community through environmental outreach and extension. Through these activities, the Schiermeier Wetlands plays an essential role in developing science-based solutions to critical issues in water resource management, restoration, and conservation.
From Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park webpage

Kiwanis Riverway Park
6345 Riverside Drive
Dublin, Ohio 43017

From the Wetland Research Park, turn right onto West Dodridge Street and go .1 mile. Turn right onto Olentangy River Road and drive 2.6 miles. Turn left onto Henderson Road and drive 3.8 miles. Turn right onto US-33 west and drive 2.5 miles. Turn left and arrive at Kiwanis Riverway Park.

The Kiwanis Riverway Park is located along the East shore of the Scioto River, at the north end of Griggs Reservoir. This park provides a boardwalk nature trail through the wetlands along the river, providing opportunities for viewing of birds and flora. Funding for the park was provided by the Kiwanis Club. The Dublin Parks and Recreation Department assists in the maintenance and managing of this park area.
From Kiwanis Riverway Park webpage

Antrim Park
5800 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, OH 43085

From Kiwanis Riverway Park, turn right onto US-33 east and drive 2.1 miles. Turn left onto Hayden Road and go .5 mile. Continue straight onto Bethel Road and drive 3.7 miles. Merge onto OH-315 north and drive 1.1 miles. Arrive at Antrim Park.

Antrim is a nearly 120-acre park surrounded by a quarried lake and the Olentangy Greenway Trail , great for running, walking, biking or skating. Antrim Park is a popular place for fishing, which can be done off the banks or from the large accessible dock. The lake is stocked once a year with Rainbow Trout by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. No boats or swimming are permitted in the lake, however. Antrim Park was acquired in 1970 as a gift from the Antrim family and dedicated to John C. Antrim. Mr. Antrim was the owner of the Olentangy Corporation that quarried the property.
From Antrim Park webpage

Sharon Woods Metro Park
6911 Cleveland Avenue
Westerville, Ohio 43081

From Antrim Park, drive north on OH-315 for 1.8 miles. Use the right 2 lanes to merge onto I-270 east and drive 4.4 miles. Turn left onto Cleveland Avenue and go .7 mile. Turn left and arrive at Schrock Lake in Sharon Woods Metro Park.

The 14-acre Schrock Lake serves as a focal point of this 761-acre Metro Park. The lake provides the setting for kids’ and seniors’ fishing, bird watching and picnicking.

The park is a mixture of forests and open fields. You’ll see numerous towering oak, hickory and beech trees. Many seasonal pools associated with the swamp forest communities are present and provide critical spring breeding habitat for amphibians and other wildlife.

Bicyclists and joggers will enjoy the park’s four miles of paved trails. Those seeking a quieter walk will enjoy nearly three miles of nature trails that wind along streambeds and wetland.
From Sharon Woods Metro Park webpage

Blendon Woods Metro Park
4265 East Dublin-Granville Road
Westerville, Ohio 43081

From Sharon Woods Metro Park, turn right onto South Cleveland Avenue and go .6 mile. Use the right lane to take the ramp onto I-270 east and drive 2.8 miles. Use the right 2 lanes to take Exit 30 for OH-161 east and drive 2.1 miles. Keep right, follow signs for Little Turtle Way. Turn right onto Little Turtle Way West, then turn right onto Cherry Bottom Road, and go .4 mile. Arrive at parking for Thoreau Pond in Blendon Woods Metro Park.

One of the biggest draws to Blendon Woods is the excellent birding opportunities the park presents. In fact, more than 220 species of birds have been spotted at Blendon. Many of the trails in the park, and particularly the Sugarbrush, are heavily populated with many different species of birds. Several feeders behind the Nature Center and the windowed viewing area inside make this another great place to spot and learn about the wild songbirds of central Ohio. This viewing area even includes a microphone and speakers that transmits in the chirping and trilling of the birds outside.

However, the biggest birding draw at the park is Thoreau Lake. There are two birding shelters on this lake, just a quarter-mile from the Nature Center. Thoreau draws many species to the park, including a variety of ducks, great blue herons, and the more elusive green heron. It is also home to many turtles, frogs, and more, and special fishing programs are held on its banks throughout the summer.
From Columbus Examiner news article

Spectacular stream-cut ravines surrounded by beech-maple and oak-hickory forests highlight this 653-acre Metro Park. The 118-acre Walden Waterfowl Refuge with its 11-acre Thoreau Lake provides a sanctuary for hundreds of birds and other wildlife. The refuge is open year-round and features two elevated observation shelters with spotting scopes for viewing waterfowl. More than 220 species of birds have been sighted at the park.

Explore the beautiful outcroppings of exposed bedrock as you hike more than 5 miles of trails.
From Blendon Woods Metro Park webpage