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.
Gallia County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot in a new tab or window.
Gallia 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.
Tycoon Lake Wildlife Area
Bidwell, Ohio 45614
This 684-acre wildlife area lies between OH-325 and OH-554 approximately five miles northeast of Rio Grande. From OH-325 access to the area is gained by Township Road 21 (Eagle Road). From OH-554 access is provided off Township Road 20 (Vaughn Road) and County Road 17 (Tycoon Road).
The topography surrounding the 204-acre Tycoon Lake is gently rolling to hilly. Approximately 54 percent of the uplands are wooded, mainly with oak-hickory types. Brushlands occupy 13 percent, open land 23 percent, wetlands 5 percent, and public use areas 5 percent of the uplands.
From Tycoon Lake Wildlife Area webpage
Gavin Power Plant
Cheshire, Ohio 45620
From Tycoon Lake, turn right onto Tycoon Road and drive 1.8 miles. Turn left onto OH-554 east and drive 18.2 miles. Turn right onto OH-7 south and drive .5 mile. Arrive at Gavin Power Plant.
General James M. Gavin Power Plant is a coal-fired power station in Cheshire, Ohio, operated by American Electric Power. Named after James M. Gavin, it is the largest coal-fired power facility in Ohio and one of the largest in the nation.
Kyger Creek Power Plant
Cheshire, Ohio 45620
From Gavin Power Plant, drive south on OH-7 for 1.5 miles. Arrive at Kyger Creek Power Plant.
Kyger Creek Power Plant is a coal-fired power station at Cheshire, Ohio, operated by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation. It has one of the tallest chimneys in the world at 1,001 ft, built in 1980.
300 Block of First Avenue
Gallipolis, Ohio 45631
From Kyger Creek Power Plant, drive southwest on OH-7 for 8.9 miles. Turn left onto Second Avenue and go 1 mile. Turn left onto Court Street and arrive at the Gallipolis Riverfront.
Gallipolis, meaning “City of the Gauls,” began as a speculation project of the Scioto Company, which encouraged investors in France to purchase lands in Ohio; the project proved attractive to the middle class. Hundreds invested money hoping to find prosperity in America. Upon arriving, however, the French found the deeds worthless.
The disillusioned settlers petitioned both Congress and President Washington for aid. As a result, the Ohio Company sent a group of woodsmen from Marietta to build a settlement. The French arrived at Gallipolis October 17, 1790, unaware of the hardships of frontier life, but through perseverance, they established a thriving river trade in a short time.
In 1803, one of the first acts of Ohio’s legislature was the creation of eight new counties. “Gallia” was given in honor of the county’s first settlers, the “French 500” as they are known. Gallipolis today still bears the vestiges of the French as a proud reminder of the county’s heritage.
From City of Gallipolis website
Raccoon Creek County Park
County Road 28
Gallipolis, Ohio 45631
From the Gallipolis Riverfront, drive southwest on First Avenue for .3 mile. First Avenue turns right and becomes Vine Street for .4 mile. Turn right onto OH-141 west and drive 6.1 miles. Turn left onto OH-775 south and drive 2.1 miles. Turn right onto Dan Jones Road and go .5 miles. Turn right into Raccoon Creek County Park.
Raccoon Creek County Park is a 700-acre outdoor recreation area centrally located in Gallia County.
Situated in the foothills of Southeastern Ohio, Raccoon Creek County Park is bordered on the north by Raccoon Creek, the stream formerly called “Etha Petha,” the Shawnee word for raccoon. To the south lies hills and upland fields adjacent to the historic Popular Knob. The park showcases 700 acres of both natural areas and recreation facilities that afford visitors many and varied leisure experiences year round.
From Raccoon Creek County Park webpage
Wayne National Forest–Kenton Lake
Patriot, Ohio 45658
From Raccoon Creek County Park, turn right onto Dane Jones Road and drive 2.1 miles. Turn left onto OH-141 west and drive 4.7 miles. Continue straight onto OH-233 west and drive 3.3 miles. Turn right onto Pumpkintown Road and go .9 mile. Turn right onto Fultz Road and arrive at Kenton lake in .3 mile.
This 7-acre lake is located in Gallia County, on the northern end of the Ironton Ranger District. It is among the most popular lakes in the area due to its remote peaceful character. It is also known as Pumpkintown Lake.
From Kenton Lake webpage
The Wayne National Forest is located in the hills of southeastern Ohio. This small national forest, in the heart of the heavily populated Midwest, covers almost a quarter million acres of Appalachian foothills. The Wayne is divided into three blocks administered by two Ranger Districts at Athens and Ironton. A field office is also located east of Marietta.
From Wayne National Forest Division of Forestry website
Wayne National Forest–Sand Fork Wetland
Patriot, Ohio 45658
From Kenton Lake, drive west on Fultz Road for .3 mile. Turn left onto Pumpkintown Road and go .9 mile. Turn left onto OH-233 east and drive 3.3 miles. Continue straight onto OH-141 east and drive 2.8 miles. Turn right onto Gage Road and drive 1.5 miles. In Patriot Gage Road becomes Hutch Street for a short distance. Turn right onto Patriot Road and go .2 mile. Turn right onto Hanan Trace Road and drive 2.3 miles. Turn right onto OH-775 south and drive 3.6 miles. Turn left onto Rich Road and go .3 miles. Arrive at Sand Fork Wetland on the left.
Access to the Sand Fork Wetland is via a dirt and gravel road that ends at an old house site. The national forest ownership starts at the beginning of the wetland. The agriculture fields at the entrance are privately owned. Visitors should be cautious to stay on the road when parking, as the ground is extremely soft and it is very easy to get stuck while turning your vehicle around. The wetlands are constructed. There is a series of wetlands that continue upstream from the main wetland. These other wetlands are much more shallow. A very large diversity of birds have been seen here and it is a wonderful place to bird.
From Zachary Allen who works in the National Forest
Crown City Wildlife Area (Gallia County)
Scottown, Ohio 45678
From the Sand Fork Wetland Drive, northwest on Rich Road for .3 mile. Turn left onto OH-775 south and drive 2.4 miles. There are many roads to explore in the Crown City Wildlife Area. Bird from your vehicle, stopping when you find interesting birds to view. One possible route through this area is to turn left onto Scotttown-Lecta Road and drive .8 mile. Turn right to stay on Scottown-Lecta Road for 1.6 miles. Turn left onto Sand Fork-George Creek Road (Township Highway 175) and drive 1 mile. Continue onto Wells Run Road for .7 mile. Turn right to stay on Wells Run Road for .3 mile. Continue straight onto Garland Creek Road for 2.4 miles.
There are tips for birding Crown City Wildlife Area on the Ohio Ornithological Society website.
The 11,119-acre Crown City Wildlife Area, located in portions of Lawrence and Gallia counties, is situated in southern Ohio approximately 3 miles south of Mercerville. The primary access to the wildlife area is from OH-218 and OH-790.
Crown City Wildlife Area is located in the unglaciated region of southern Ohio. The terrain, dissected by numerous small streams, is rolling to rugged. Elevations vary from 515 feet to 1,060 feet above sea level. Much of the land that comprises Crown City Wildlife Area has been subjected to surface mining. It consists of 67 percent forestland, 32 percent grassland/open land and less than 1 percent wetlands and ponds.
From Crown City Wildlife Area webpage