Harrison County 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.

Harrison County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Harrison County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.

Harrison County

Tappan Lake–North
Cadiz, Ohio 43907

Tappan Lake is about 20 miles from New Philadelphia on US-250. There are several parking areas on the north end of Tappan Lake along US-250 from which you can view birds on the lake.

There are tips for birding Tappan Lake from the Ohio Ornithological Society website.

Tappan Lake is in northwestern Harrison County in Stock and Franklin townships. US-250 follows the main body of the reservoir for 7 miles. Township roads border three long bays on the north side, making easy access to the lake. New Philadelphia, with access to I-77, lies 20 miles to the northwest.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District was organized under state law in 1933 for the primary purposes of flood control, conservation, and recreation. The first waters to form the permanent lakes were impounded in 1938. In 1939 the flood control aspect became the responsibility of the United State Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Ohio-Mississippi Flood Control Program.

The Division of Wildlife is responsible for all hunting and fishing in the District’s 54,000 acres of land and water. There are 16,000 acres of Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District lakes with 365 miles of shoreline to enjoy.

Tappan Lake was impounded by constructing a dam across Little Stillwater Creek. It has 2,131 acres of water and its 47 miles of shoreline offers more accessible shoreline fishing than any other Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District lake.
From Tappan Lake webpage

Tappan Lake–Clearfork Bay
From the north end of Tappan Lake, continue southeast on US-250 for about 5 miles. Turn right onto Lower Clearfork Road. Lower Clearfork Road travels along Clearfork Bay for the next mile.

Bird this section from your vehicle.

Buckeye Trail Barn
Cadiz, Ohio 43907

From Clearfork Bay return to US-250, turn left on US-250 and drive .5 mile. Turn right onto Deersville Road and go 3.2 miles. Turn right onto Beall Road and arrive at the Buckeye Trail Barn in 1.4 miles down a long gravel driveway.

Located on the shore of Tappan Lake, the Buckeye Trail Association’s (BTA) Century Barn is an English style, three bay ground barn with louvered ventilation. In 2003, the BTA partnered with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and leased the barn for 30 years. Since then, the barn has been undergoing gradual renovations and is now ready for use as the headquarters of the BTA.

Please, remember that the house side of the driveway is absolutely and strictly off-limits. It is a private residence so please respect their wishes and stay on our side of the driveway and please do not block any roads.
From Buckeye Trail Barn webpage

Clendening Lake–Brushy Fork
Freeport, Ohio 43973

From the Buckeye Trail Barn, retrace your route on Beall Road for 1.4 miles. turn left onto Deersvillle Ridge Road and go .6 mile. Turn right onto McGee Road and go 2.1 miles. Continue straight ahead onto Minksville Road and go 1.9 miles. Turn right onto Brushy Fork Road. Bird this road with views of Clendening Lake until it dead ends in 2.4 miles. There are additional eBird hotspots on Clendening Lake which you could explore on this trip or at another time.

Clendening Lake is in southwestern Harrison County in Washington and Nottingham townships. The dam is at Tippecanoe off OH-800. OH-799 bisects the lake. Township roads provide access to the lake on all boundary lines. Access to Interstate I-77 is available at New Philadelphia which lies 25 miles to the north.

Clendening Lake, one of the flood control impoundments of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, was constructed in Brushy Fork of Big Stillwater Creek. This 1,702-acre lake is mostly long, narrow, and winding and most of its 35.5 miles of shoreline is deeply wooded. There is a 10-horsepower outboard motor limit on this lake.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District was organized under state law in 1933 for the primary purposes of flood control, conservation, and recreation. The first waters to form the permanent lakes were impounded in 1938. In 1939, the flood control aspect became the responsibility of the United States Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Ohio-Mississippi Flood Control Program.
From Clendening Lake webpage

Jockey Hollow Wildlife Area
Cravat Shop Road
Moorefield, Ohio 43907

From Clendening Lake, reverse your direction on Brushy Fork Road and go 1.2 miles. Turn right onto Elk Run Road for .3 mile. Turn right onto Dysart Road and drive 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Kennedy Ridge Road and go .8 mile. Make a slight right onto Douglas Turn Road and go .8 mile. Turn left onto US-22 east and drive 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Cravat Shop Road and arrive at Jockey Hollow Wildlife Area. Bird along Cravat Shop Road and other roads in the wildlife area.

This 3,469-acre wildlife area lies 6 miles southwest of Cadiz in Harrison and Belmont Counties. Access is provided by OH-22 and OH-519. Several township roads provide direct access to the area. The area lies in an unglaciated region of eastern Ohio. The terrain is steeply rolling with some hilltops and valley floors. Second growth hardwoods and conifers which cover most of the area are interspersed with brushy coverts and grassland. Consol Energy, Inc. owns 1,490 acres of the area and has an agreement with the Division of Wildlife to allow public access for wildlife-related activities.

Wildlife found in the area are common forest species including wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, fox and gray squirrels, and white-tailed deer. Raccoons, foxes, and coyotes are common furbearers on the area and bobcats are occasionally seen. Woodland songbirds can be seen in abundance during the spring and fall migrations. Grassland songbird species can also be seen on some of the reclaimed mining portions of the property. Fishing is permitted in any pond found in this area. Channel catfish, largemouth bass, and bluegill are common species in these ponds.
From Jockey Hollow Wildlife Area webpage

Industrial Park Drive
Cadiz, Ohio 43907

From Jockey Hollow Wildlife Area, return to US-22 on Cravat Shop Road. Turn right onto US-22 east and drive 6.5 miles. Turn right onto Industrial Park Road and go 1.1 miles. Turn right on the dirt road.

Bobolinks, Savannah Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows, Henslow’s Sparrows, Dickcissels, and Meadowlarks are all abundant here. This is a possible breeding site for Upland Sandpipers. The parking area to see all these birds is a short dirt county road off of Industrial Park Drive. That enables birders to park right in the midst of all these birds. The road actually goes nowhere.
From Laura Dornan

Chambers Wetland
Township Road 187
Cadiz, Ohio 43907

Reverse direction and head north on Industrial Park Drive for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto US-22 east and drive 1.7 miles. Use the right lane to take the US-250 and OH-9 ramp to Scio and Cadiz. turn right onto OH-9 north and drive 3.6 miles. Turn right onto Unionvale-Kenwood Road and go .9 mile. Turn left onto Township Road 187 and arrive at Chambers Wetland.

The Chambers Wetland is owned by Chambers Development (they operate landfills). It is part of their wetland mitigation and was built in Fall 2010. There is parking and the public is welcome to watch birds. Lakes in the area are also viewable from the roadside.
From Scott Pendleton

Harrison State Forest–Red Trail
Cadiz, Ohio 43907

From Chambers Wetland, go south on Township Road 187 for .1 mile. Turn right onto Unionvale-Kenwood Road and go .5 mile. Turn right onto Bells Hill Road and arrive at the Red Trail trailhead in .7 miles.

There are additional eBird hotspots in Harrison State Forest to explore on this or another trip.

Harrison State Forest was purchased in 1961. A substantial portion of the land has been strip-mined for coal. However, the production of acid mine water is minimal because of the neutralizing effect of limestone deposits. The majority of unstripped lands are located on ridges or in valleys and are in forest cover. Subsequent reforestation and installation of recreation facilities, funded through the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 and the Ohio Capital Improvements program, have restored the area to a condition suitable for public use. Two areas were reforested in 1992 and 1993. Over 100,000 trees were planted on 186 acres.

Harrison State Forest is located in Harrison County, approximately three miles north of Cadiz, east of OH-9. The primary area lies north of County Road 13, while two smaller tracts are located south of County Road 13.
From Harrison State Forest website