Dayton Southwest 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.

Dayton Southwest 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.

Montgomery County

Great Miami River Trail–East River Road
Moraine, Ohio 45439

From I-75, take Exit 50 for Dryden Road. Follow signs for Dryden Road north and drive north for .1 mile. Turn left onto Arbor Boulevard and go .3 mile. Turn left onto East River Road and go .3 miles. The Great Miami River Trail is on the right. Parking is available in the Brightwood College parking lot.

East River Road is one of four access points in Montgomery County to the Great Miami River Trail. 140 bird species have been reported from the East River Road eBird hotspot. Take time to walk and bird this trail in either or both directions.
From Great Miami River Trail brochure

Possum Creek MetroPark
4790 Frytown Road
Dayton, Ohio 45418

From East River Road, drive northeast on East River Road for .9 mile. Make a slight left onto Dryden Road and .5 mile. Turn left onto Nicholas Road and drive 2 miles. Turn left onto South Gettysburg Avenue and go 1 mile. Turn right onto Frytown Road and go .7 mile. Turn left into Possum Creek Metropark and drive .5 mile to the parking area.

Ponds and the lake offer lots of fishing for trout, catfish, and many other species. A large planted prairie bursts with flowers and tall grasses from summer into fall. And then there’s the farm, loaded with friendly farm animals that delight both children and adults all year round.

Possum Creek MetroPark consists largely of former farmland that is going through the process of natural succession. Significant natural features include bottomland hardwood forests along Possum Creek, two mature beech woodlots, and numerous created ponds and wetlands. Over 100 acres of degraded farmland and dumps have been cleared and planted into native Ohio prairie. The prairie took years to establish but now thrives on the poor ground. It is currently one of the largest and most diverse planted prairies in Ohio.
From Possum Creek MetroPark webpage

Germantown MetroPark
7101 Conservancy Road
Germantown, Ohio 45327

From Possum Creek MetroPark, turn left onto Frytown Road and go .4 mile. Turn left onto OH-4 south and drive 5 miles. Turn right onto Manning Road and drive 5.5 miles. Turn left onto Boomershine Road and drive 1 mile. Turn left and arrive at the Germantown MetroPark Nature Center parking lot.

If time permits you may also want to explore the Dam Area in this MetroPark.

A world of wilderness awaits with an underground Nature Center and panoramic views. Elevated boardwalks and miles of scenic trails. Only 20 minutes from Dayton the park enables users to hike, kayak, fish, picnic, fossil collect and many other exciting adventures.

Germantown MetroPark is the most diverse and significant natural area managed by MetroParks. The size, quality, and age of the woodlands are exceptional. Steep topography and varied moisture gradients make for a variety of forest types and microhabitats. Many species of plants and animals here are found nowhere else in Montgomery County. The park also contains large open grasslands, cedar glades, dry hillside prairies, all stages of natural succession, several ponds, and an exceptionally high-quality stream, Twin Creek. The park also benefits from the fact that it still is surrounded largely by agricultural land and the wooded Twin Creek corridor.
From Germantown MetroPark webpage

Twin Creek MetroPark
9688 Eby Road
Germantown, Ohio 45327

From Germantown MetroPark, turn left on Boomershine Road and stay on Boomershine Road for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto OH-725 east and drive 1.4 miles. turn right onto Sigel road and go .9 mile. Merge onto Oxford Road and continue straight onto Astoria Road for .3 mile. Continue straight onto Mudlick Road for 1.1 miles. Make a slight right onto Eby Road for .3 mile. Turn right onto OH-4 south, turn left onto Eby Road and go 1 mile. Turn left into Twin Creek MetroPark.

A world of serenity awaits with panoramic views and miles of hiking and equestrian trails. Only 20 minutes from Dayton, the park enables users to hike, fish, picnic, and many other exciting adventures.

This outstanding natural area contains steep, wooded ravines containing mature forest with a diverse understory plant life, extensive areas of second growth forest, floodplain forest, several large managed grasslands, a large scenic pond, and the beautiful Twin Creek. In addition, the MetroPark contains a winding prehistoric Indian mound and a scenic hilltop vista. The MetroPark is linked by the wooded Twin Creek Corridor that connects it to Germantown MetroPark to the north.
From Twin Creek MetroPark webpage

Crains Run Nature Park
10741 Dayton Cincinnati Pike
Miamisburg, Ohio 45342

From Twin Creek MetroPark, turn left onto Eby Road and go .2 miles. Continue onto Franklin Madison Road and drive .4 miles. Turn left onto Chamberlain Road and drive 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Central Avenue and drive 2.1 miles. Continue onto Kenneth Koons Boulevard for .2 mile. Turn left onto North Main Street for .4 mile. Continue onto North Dixie Highway for .9 mile. Continue onto Dayton Cincinnati Pike for .3 mile. Arrive at Crains Run Nature Park on the left.

Located at the very southern end of the township the 34-acre Crains Run Nature Park borders the Great Miami River. The Route 25 and Great Miami Recreation Trail’s southernmost section runs through the park as it follows the banks of the river. Two-thirds of the park is heavily wooded with hiking trails winding throughout the woods, the remainder of the park is green space. One shelter house with picnic table seating for 40 people overlooks the park’s four-acre pond. A second shelter was recently constructed and is now available for reservations. This shelter provides a scenic view of the river, seating for 70 people and running water.

In keeping with the nature theme of this park, there is no electricity or permanent restrooms available at Crains Run. Portable restrooms are located at the north and south ends of the Park. Two paved parking lots provide a total of 50 parking spaces. Adjoining the park property, just across the road at the south end of the park, is a restored canal lock that was built in 1829 as part of the Miami-Erie Canal system. Known as Sunfish Lock, it was restored by Miami Township in 1990.
From Crains Run Nature Park webpage