Geauga County East 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.

Geauga County East Birding Drive
Thanks to Matt Valencic for suggesting the locations for this birding drive.

Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

Food and gas are available in Burton and Middlefield.

Eldon Russell Park
16315 Rapids Road
Burton, Ohio 44021

From US-422, drive north on Rapids Road for 2.7 miles. Turn right into Eldon Russell Park.

Eldon Russell Park is a 132-acre parcel located in Troy Township along the Upper Cuyahoga River, a state-designated Scenic River. The Eldon Russell Nature Trail reaches many of the park’s natural habitats along its .75-mile course. During times of high water, the section along the river may be inaccessible. The statewide Buckeye Trail makes a pass along the roadway bordering Eldon Russell Park.
From Eldon Russell Park webpage

During spring migration and during the summer breeding season, this park can be excellent for Prothonotary and Blue-winged Warbler, Redstarts, Rusty Blackbirds, and Veery.

Burton Wetlands
15681 Old Rider Road
Burton, Ohio 44021

From Eldon Russell Park, turn right onto Rapids Road and drive 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Pond road and drive 1.1. miles. Turn right onto Old Rider Road and arrive at the parking for Burton Wetlands on the right in .1 mile.

Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve in Burton Township is a 287-acre parcel that includes the Charles Dambach Preserve. Located within the upper Cuyahoga River watershed, Burton Wetlands was officially dedicated in 1999 as an Ohio State Nature Preserve. Park in the lot on the east side of Old Rider Road. The trails at Burton Wetlands travel through varied field, forest, and kettle lake habitats in the remote area. The Glacier Trail goes east from the parking lot providing a short walk (.22 miles) to the boat launch on Kelso Lake. The Kettle Trail crosses the road to the west and provides a 1.12-mile circle walk.
From Burton Wetlands Nature Preserve webpage

Swine Creek Reservation–Lodge and Bird Feeders
Middlefield, Ohio 44062

From Burton Wetlands, drive north on Old Rider Road for .5 mile. Turn right onto Hotchkiss Road and drive 1.8 miles. Turn left onto Rapids Road and go .1 mile. Turn right onto Carlton Street for .5 mile. Turn right onto OH-168 and drive 1.3 miles. Turn left onto Georgia Road and drive 3.1 miles. Turn right onto OH-608 south and drive 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Swine Creek Road and drive 2.1 miles. Turn left onto Hayes Road and arrive at the entrance to Swine Creek Lodge on the right in .5 mile.

Swine Creek Reservation is a 412-acre park located in the southeast corner of Middlefield Township. Situated in the countryside among Amish farms, the park’s cultural and natural setting make it a very popular destination. Nearly 6 miles of trails traverse Swine Creek Reservation. The Gray Fox, Meadowlark, Siltstone and Sugarbush trails keep to fairly level terrain, while the Valley and Glen trails take on steeper topography with descents into rock-strewn ravines. These trails traverse mature deciduous forests, deep ravines for Waterthrushes, conifer stand for Red-breasted Nuthatch, Kinglets, and Siskins, and Ring-necked Pheasant from the shooting preserve next door.
From Swine Creek Reservation webpage

Swine Creek Reservation–Valley Shelter Area
Middlefield, Ohio 44062

From the Swine Creek Lodge, drive south on Hayes Road for .5 miles. Turn left onto Swine Creek Road for .1 mile. Turn left into the parking area for the Valley Shelter area.

Swine Creek Valley, the lower section of the park, can be toured from end to end on the Razorback Trail, while the Walnut Trail provides a shorter alternative. This section of the park includes bottomlands where birders may find nesting Cerulean Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Waterthrushes, Vireos, and Winter and Carolina Wrens.

Hayes Road
Middlefield, Ohio 44062

From the Valley Shelter area, drive northwest on Swine Creek Road and .1 mile. Turn right onto Hayes Road. Bird this road from your vehicle for the next 4 miles.

In late fall and winter, Hayes Road is a good place to visit to see Rough-legged Hawks, Harriers, Hawks, and Eagles. Snow Buntings, Horned Larks, and Lapland Longspurs can sometimes be found on manure spreads.