Lawrence 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.

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

Lawrence 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.

Lawrence County

Wayne National Forest–Anderson Meadows
Oak Hill, Ohio 45656

Access the Anderson Meadows Public Hunting and Viewing Area from OH-93. From Jackson drive south on OH-93 for 19.1 miles. Anderson Meadows is on the right.

This is a section of 4,117 acres which is now part of the Wayne National Forest. The area is named in honor of the late Ora E. Anderson, a former trustee of The Nature Conservancy, who supported the establishment and growth of the Wayne National Forest for decades. This road is good for viewing birds from your car. Several parking areas are available along the road as well.
From Article about adding Anderson Meadows to the Wayne National Forest

Dean State Forest
149 Dean Forest Road
Pedro, Ohio 45659

From Anderson Meadows, drive southwest on OH-93 for 9.8 miles. Explore this state forest, turning east from OH-93 using the Dean Forest Road which is numbered OH-373 and County Road 140.

Located in the unglaciated hill country of extreme south central Ohio, Dean, one of Ohio’s first state forests, was established in June of 1916.

The early history of the region centered around Dutch and Irish farmers who emigrated from Pennsylvania. From the early 1800s to about 1900, most of the timber in the area was cut for charcoal to supply blast furnaces for the smelting of locally mined iron ore. The area had also been burned over many times by fires started along the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroad which ran through the forest. Thus, when the land was purchased in 1916 for Dean State Forest, it was largely denuded of trees and was used as an early reforestation experimental area to determine the best species and planting methods. Several of the planting, such as the white pine, red pine, and tuliptree along OH-373 in Texas Hollow, are visible results of those experiments and efforts.

In the early 1930s, a Civilian Conservation Camp was located in the forest. Supervised by the Division of Forestry, camp personnel constructed and improved access roads and did much timber stand improvement work. Today, Dean contains an unbroken block of 2,745 acres of forest land.
From Dean State Forest website

Wayne National Forest–Hanging Rock ORV Park
Ironton, Ohio 45638

From Dean State Forest, drive west on Dean Forest Road. Turn left onto OH-93 south and drive 5.1 miles. Turn right onto White Oak Road and drive 2.5 miles. turn right onto Pine Grove-Smokey Row Road for .1 mile. Turn left onto Oh-650 and drive 3.5 miles. Turn right onto Park Road 105 and drive 2.7 miles. Arrive at Hanging Rock ORV Park.

While designed for Off-Road Vehicles, birding can be excellent here. These trails wind through an area strip-mined in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Much of the upland area was badly scarred, and some areas are left with steep slopes providing challenging trails to riders. The area is also known for its fishing ponds, 51 of which are available for fishing. The ponds which are scattered along the ATV trail, lend a picturesque backdrop to an ATV ride.
From Hanging Rock ORV Park webpage

Wayne National Forest–Lake Vesuvius
Pedro, Ohio 45659

From Hanging Rock, drive southeast on Park Road 105 for 2.7 miles. Turn left onto OH-650 north and drive 3.5 miles. Turn right onto Pine Grove-Smokey Row Road and drive 3.1 miles. Turn right onto OH-93 south for .1 mile. Turn left onto Ellisonville-Paddle Creek Road and go .9 mile. Arrive at Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area.

Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area contains a 143-acre lake, two campgrounds, picnic areas, group camping, fishing, boating, hiking and an archery trail. It is named for the historic Vesuvius Iron Furnace and is the Wayne National Forest’s premier developed site. This complex is located 6.5 miles north of Ironton, just off OH-93.

The historic iron furnace is located at the base of the dam. In 1939 the narrows of Storms Creek offered a site for this lake, which were dammed by the Civilian Conservation Corp. The rugged hills and out-cropping cliffs provide a scenic backdrop for this historical and beautiful site. The site offers a variety of opportunities for outdoor activities. A variety of trails is offered.
From Wayne National Forest–Lake Vesuvius webpage

Wayne National Forest–Five Forks
Kimble Ridge Road
Pedro, Ohio 45659

From Lake Vesuvius, turn left onto Ellison-Paddle Creek Road and drive 4.5 miles. Turn left onto Elkins Creek Road and drive 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Kimble Ridge Road.

Explore the Five Forks area of Wayne National Forest by traveling Rucker Ridge and Kimble Ridge Roads (County Highway 198).

Crown City Wildlife Area (Lawrence County)
Scottown, Ohio 45678

From Five Forks, drive south on Kimble Ridge Road. Turn right onto Elkins Creek Road and drive 1.3 miles. Make a sharp left onto Martin Road and go 2 miles. Make a slight left onto Sharp’s Creek Road, continue straight onto De Loss Creek Road, then turn right to stay on De Loss Creek Road and drive 2.2 miles. Turn left onto OH-141 east and drive 4.6 miles. Turn right onto OH-775 south and drive 2.3 miles. Turn left onto Long Creek Road and go 1.3 miles. Turn left onto Greasy Ridge Road and drive 1 mile. Turn right onto Rappsburg Road and drive 2.9 miles. Turn right onto Polkadotte-Sand Fork Road.

This wildlife area lends itself to birding from your vehicle. Explore the roads, such as Polkadotte-Sand Fork Road.

There are tips for birding Crown City Wildlife Area from 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.

Crown City Wildlife Area was purchased from Barrick Gold by the Richard King Mellon Foundation in 1997 as part of their American Land Conservation Program. They, in turn, donated it to the Division of Wildlife. Before European settlement, this area was a virgin forest. Today all of the forests are second or third growth timber.

Surface mining took place on Crown City from 1975 to 1987. As with other strip-mined lands, Crown City Wildlife Area affords the opportunity to provide habitat for declining grassland nesting species. Active management activities include managing 600 acres of native warm season grasses and annually planting 40 acres of food plots for dove fields. The forested portion of Crown City is managed for recreational opportunities and will continue to be maintained to offer a diversity of successional stages providing a variety of game and non-game wildlife species.
From Crown City Wildlife Area webpage