Dayton Northwest 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.
Dayton Northwest Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Montgomery County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
4361 National Road
Vandalia, Ohio 45377
From I-70, take Exit 29 for OH-48. Turn right onto US-48 and drive 1 mile. Turn right onto US-40 and drive .9 mile. Turn right into Englewood MetroPark and drive .8 mile to the Englewood Recreation Reservoir.
Checklists of birds seen at the reservoir may be submitted to the primary hotspot, Englewood MetroPark. If you have time, explore North Park and South Park. Each of these areas has a separate eBird hotspot.
Englewood MetroPark is one of five natural areas created by the construction of earthen flood control dams. Stillwater River, lakes, woods, and wetlands serve as focal points of this 1,900-acre MetroPark.
Englewood MetroPark is a large and heavily utilized MetroPark. The natural areas of the park contain floodplain forests, large areas of former farmland in natural succession, second growth upland hardwood forest, significant remnants of mature and old growth forest, a large shallow lake/wetland, several managed grasslands, and the scenic Stillwater River. The park also contains series of rehabilitated gravel quarry along Old Springfield Road (North Park).
Aullwood Audubon Center
1000 Aullwood Road
Dayton, Ohio 45414
From the Englewood Recreation Reservoir, drive east on Pattys Road for 1 mile. Turn right onto Frederick Pike and go .4 mile. Turn right onto US-40 west and drive .5 mile. Turn left onto Aullwood Road and go .2 mile. Arrive at the Aullwood Audubon Center.
Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, an Audubon Center for environmental education and organic agriculture, provides activities that increase understanding and preservation of the planet by children and adults through education, research, and recreation.
Fifty-one years ago Marie Aull gave her land to the Miami Valley, creating National Audubon Society’s first nature center in the Midwest. Today as visitors explore the Marie S. Aull Education Center, walk the trails and experience Aullwood’s organic farm, they discover why Aull’s gift is a paragon among nature centers. More than 110,000 people– tots, school children, teens, and adults — are engaged in exciting on-site or outreach programs every year. By nourishing familiarity with nature and sustainable agriculture, Aullwood stimulates many visitors to environmental activism.
Aullwood Garden MetroPark
955 Aullwood Road
Englewood, Ohio 45414
From the Aullwood Audubon Center, drive south for .5 mile. Arrive at the Aullwood Garden MetroPark on the left.
This nationally recognized, historic estate garden is rich in plant diversity, habitats, and tranquility. Many bird and butterfly species are observed here. The garden acquired its present configuration in the two decades following John and Marie’s marriage in 1923. From the beginning, Wiles Creek served as a landscape focus and the forest shade determined the selection of plants. Tens of thousands of Virginia bluebells that now cover the hillsides in late April are the progeny of 500 plants they purchased.
In 1977, Marie Aull conveyed her cottage home, a 30-acre garden, and a maintenance endowment to Five Rivers MetroParks, with the provision that she be able to reside on the property as long as she lived while keeping her garden open to the public. Marie continued to direct the work of the gardeners after the donation of Aullwood Garden to MetroParks. Despite the help of gardeners, Marie could not resist working in the garden herself, even at age 90. Mrs. Aull was a familiar figure to those who visited her gardens.
Great Miami Wetland Mitigation Bank–Former Larch Tree Golf Course
Little Richmond Road
Trotwood, Ohio 45426
From the Aullwood Gardens, drive northwest on Aullwood Road for .7 mile. turn left onto US-40 west and drive .9 mile. Turn right onto South Main Street for .1 mile. Turn left onto Haywood Road and Drive 2.4 miles. Turn right onto East Westbrook Road and drive 1.1 miles. turn left onto North Union Road and go .1 mile, Turn right onto Shiloh Springs Road and drive .5 mile. Turn left onto Sycamore Woods Boulevard and drive 1.3 miles. turn left onto North Snyder Road and drive 1.9 miles. Turn right onto Little Richmond Road and drive .4 mile. Arrive at the Great Miami Wetland Mitigation Bank.
If you have time, you may also wish to visit the nearby Former Larch Tree Golf Course which is now part of the mitigation bank.
Nestled at the southeastern end of Sycamore State Park in Trotwood, the Great Miami Wetland Mitigation Bank consists of a wetland area, a forested wetland area, and a prairie. Wetlands are an important ecosystem that provides many key functions, such as biodiversity support, water quality improvement, flood abatement and carbon dioxide management. With the expansion of human populations, less than half of the world’s wetlands remain today. Wetlands are the “kidneys” of our ecosystem, able to hold enormous amounts of water that minimizing floods and filter and cleanse the water that passes through them, improving local water quality. Wetlands are so efficient at removing contaminants and pollutants from water that some wetlands have even been utilized for waste-water treatment.
Sycamore State Park
4675 North Diamond Mill Road
Trotwood, Ohio 45426
From the Great Miami Wetland Mitigation Bank, drive west on Little Richmond Road for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto Diamond Mill Road and drive 2.6 miles. Arrive at Sycamore State Park.
Sycamore State Park lies in the vast fertile till plains of western Ohio in the Wolf Creek Valley. The original forest contained magnificent oaks, walnut, maple, ash, wild cherry and many other tree species. The forest abounded with wild turkey, deer, elk, and bison. Long before any permanent settlement was made in the area, its beauty and fertility were well known in the Kentucky settlements and to the people east of the Alleghenies.
Settlers were attracted to this area because of the fertile soil. When the Miami-Erie Canal was completed in 1829, the area became quite prosperous. Underlying the rich fertile soils were vast beds of gravel and sand providing excellent materials for road making. Hundreds of miles of roads were built in the county with these materials making it one of the most accessible during the state’s infancy.
At one time, the land comprising Sycamore State Park was purchased by a development corporation to build a housing project. When the corporation was unable to complete the construction, the lands were offered to the state of Ohio. Sycamore was dedicated as a state park in November 1979.