Geauga County West 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.
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 along this drive are close by in Chagrin Falls, in Bainbridge at OH-306 and East Washington Street, and in Newbury at OH-87 and Auburn Road.
16780 Savage Road
Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023
From Chagrin Falls, drive east on Washington Street for 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Savage Road and drive .5 mile. Arrive at Frohring Meadows on the right.
Frohring Meadows is a 298-acre park in Bainbridge Township that features a 100-acre prairie and trails through the woodlands. Enter the park on Savage Road and park in the parking lot. The loop trail through the park leads to two small wetlands, a large meadow, and habitat under a power line. 180 bird species have been reported at Frohring Meadows.
South Russell Village Park
South Russell, Ohio 44022
From Frohring Meadows, drive north on Savage Road for .5 mile. Turn left onto Washington Street and drive .5 mile. Turn right onto Daisy Lane and go .6 mile. Turn right onto Bell Road and arrive at the parking for South Russell Village Park on the right in .5 mile.
South Russell Village Park is owned and operated by the Village of South Russell. The park is adjacent to Frohring Meadows which is owned and operated by the Geauga Park District. There is a connector trail into this park from Frohring Meadows or you can follow the driving route from Frohring Meadows to the parking lot at South Russell Village Park. This park is a good place to look for Bobolinks during the late spring and summer breeding season.
West Geauga Commons
14070 Chillicothe Road
From South Russell Village Park, drive east on Bell Road for .9 mile. Turn left onto OH-306 north and drive 3.7 miles. Turn left onto Century Lane and arrive at the parking areas for West Geauga Commons in .1 mile.
West Geauga Commons is a park which features a trail along a branch of Chagrin River, lots of warblers and vireos, especially spring/fall migration. Drive to the back parking lot and walk to the river, there is a nice long walk along the river bank.
10110 Cedar Road
Munson, Ohio 44026
From West Geauga Commons, drive southeast on Century Lane for .1 mile. Turn left onto OH-306 north and drive .4 mile. Turn right onto Fairmount Road and drive 3.4 miles. Turn left onto Rockhaven Road and go .7 mile. Turn left onto Cedar Road and drive .2 mile. Turn right into the Silo Picnic Area parking lot.
The Rookery is a 562-acre tract located in southwest Munson Township. The Chagrin River, the old Interurban Railroad Junction, and one of Geauga County’s largest nesting colonies of great blue heron are all special features of this park. Park in the Silo Picnic Area parking lot and follow the loop trail which leads to two marshes, wet woods along Chagrin River, and a Great Blue Heron rookery.
Pekin Road Marsh
Newbury, Ohio 44065
From The Rookery, drive southeast on Cedar Road for 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Auburn Road and drive 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Pekin Road and arrive at the Pekin Road Marsh on the right in .1 mile.
This marsh is privately owned. There is enough room for several cars to pull off Pekin Road to observe birds. This is the only place in Geauga County to reliably observe Common Gallinule.
Punderson State Park
11755 Kinsman Road
Newbury, Ohio 44065
From Pekin Road Marsh, drive west on Pekin Road for .1 mile. Turn left onto Auburn Road and drive 1.2. miles. Turn left onto OH-87 east and drive 1.3 miles. Turn right into Punderson State Park.
Punderson State Park is located in the glaciated plateau region of Ohio. During the Ice Age, this area was buried under glacial ice. The last glacier to enter Ohio’s boundaries, the Wisconsinan, receded about 12,000 years ago. Punderson Lake, one of Ohio’s few natural lakes, owes its origin to this massive ice sheet. It is a kettle lake which was formed when a large block of ice broke off the glacier creating a depression which filled with meltwater. Punderson is the largest and deepest kettle lake in Ohio.
From Punderson State Park website
The aquatic environment of the lake combined with the surrounding woodlands give Punderson a diverse array of natural wonders. The lake is home to a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl including great blue herons, Canada geese, and wood ducks. Ohio’s largest rodent, the beaver, can also be spotted around the lake. Great horned owls, white-tailed deer, opossum, and raccoons can be found within the park boundaries. Red-headed Woodpeckers can often be found on the edge of the golf course at Punderson.