Lorain Lakeshore 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.
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Lorain County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
Avon Lake Veterans Memorial Park
Lake Road (US-6)
Avon Lake, Ohio 44012
The 1-acre Avon Lake Cemetery and the 5.8-acre Veterans Memorial Park are on adjacent property north of US-6 (Lake Road) at the northern terminus of OH-83 (Avon Belden Road) in Avon Lake.
Together, the properties front 1,000 feet of shore including a 300-foot sand beach. The sand is between six groins, each extending 40 feet into Lake Erie and providing fishing access. Swimming is permitted on the beach while lifeguards are on duty (1 to 6 pm from June through Labor Day). Pets are not allowed on the beach.
A small Lake Erie tributary splits the beach between two groins at the beach’s western end. The tributary also divides the park and land rented by the Avon Lake Boat Club for docking small boats and kayaks by city residents. The club’s trolley system for launching boats also crosses the beach.
From Avon Lake Veterans Memorial Park webpage
Miller Road Park
33760 Lake Road
Avon Lake, Ohio 44012
From Veterans Memorial Park, drive west on Lake Road for 2.1 miles. Turn right into the parking area for Miller Road Park.
Miller Road Park is adjacent to the Avon Lake Power Plant. The warm water outflow of the power plant is visible from the park and provides good views of birds that gather in the winter to feed on fish in the outflow. Both the bluff overlooking the lake and the fishing pier provide good bird watching vantage points in all seasons.
The hotspot on the Jetty may be used for stationary counts of lake passage independent of park habitat.
Miller Road Park and beach pack a lot into its 14.7 acres. Located on the west end of Avon Lake on the bike-friendly Lake Road (US-6), the park is many things to many people.
On top of a tree-lined bluff is a large park with two gazebos, a playground, bathrooms and wide open areas suitable for children to run loose. Visitors can walk along a lakeside paved trail or sit on one of several newer benches and look out over Lake Erie. A long fishing pier is open year-round and is a popular place for fishing, walking and watching boaters.
Picnic tables and grills are available making the destination a popular spot for family gatherings or a day at the beach. The park also includes a drinking fountain, bathrooms, and drink machines. The restrooms are closed in the winter.
Miller Road Park is heavily utilized by Lake Erie boaters. A well-maintained boat launch is in use spring, summer and fall. There is ample parking for visitors and designated parking spaces for vehicles and trailers. John’s Bait and Tackle is nearby.
There is a designated swimming area, but no lifeguards. It is imperative to stay within the swimming area as strong, life-threatening undertows exist near the power plant. The water off the beach is a popular destination for jet skiers, wake boarders, and small boats, so care by all parties should be taken.
From Miller Road Park webpage
Shell Cove Park
Lake Road (US-6)
Sheffield Lake, Ohio 44054
From Miller Park, drive west on Lake Road (US-6) for 1.7 miles. Arrive at Shell Cove Park on the right.
The 1.5-acre Shell Cove Park is Sheffield Lake’s most eastern public coastal access site. The park on US-6 (East Lake Road) pays tribute to the region’s ancient history via an expansive kiosk immediately east of the road, adjacent to the parking lot.
The kiosk describes the “terrible fish” now known as Dunkleosteus terrelli. The extinct, massive, joint-necked, armor-plated fish lived in the Devonian sea, which covered much of eastern North America 354-364 million years ago. Fossils of this creature were discovered here in 1867. An Ohio historical marker commemorating this is located on site.
Today, the park’s upper mowed grass area is flanked by shade trees. The grounds slope toward the center to a path leading about halfway down the 40-foot tall shale cliff to an observation deck offering scenic Lake Erie views.
Due to safety factors, this site should not be considered a fishing or shore access location. The park’s shore can only be reached by climbing down concrete rubble placed lakeward of the observation deck. From the deck’s viewing vantage, depending on water levels, a narrow rock beach may be present. Thousands of years of waves have smoothed the rocks and worn wave-looking patterns on their surface. Rock sizes range from boulders to small stones and are mixed with shells and shell fragments.
Additional amenities include picnic tables and grills, playground equipment and benches overlooking Lake Erie. The Back Roads & Beaches Bike Trail passes this site.
From Shell Cove Park (Coastal Access) webpage
Lorain Impoundment Lakeside Landing
Lorain, Ohio 44052
From Shell Cove Park, drive west on Lake Road (OH-6) for 2.4 miles. Continue onto East Erie Avenue and drive 2.2 miles. Turn right onto Colorado Avenue, continue onto Lakeside Avenue, and turn right onto Arizona Avenue. Arrive at the parking area for Lakeside Landing and the Lorain Impoundment.
The nearly 15-acre Lakeside Landing includes a small beach, a large pier, a scenic picnic overlook and a boat launch along 0.32 miles of shore north of Lakeside Avenue and just east of the Black River. From US-6, the site’s main parking lot is north of the Colorado Avenue intersection.
A small Lake Erie tributary crosses the east end of the site’s 200-foot, non-swimming beach. The beach is comprised of large-grain sand and extends northeast to a stone revetment. The structure is near the south end of the 58-acre, D-shaped confined disposal facility (CDF) maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Birders call this the Lorain Impoundment. In 2010, 5.26 acres of the CDF were transferred to the Lorain Port Authority to become part of the Lakeside Landing access.
The Landing’s large parking areas are south of the CDF. A 0.46–mile handicap-accessible concrete-paved pathway and wooden boardwalk extend the length of the CDF’s west side out into Lake Erie. The pier allows for views of the Lorain Lighthouse. Fishing is permitted from the boardwalk and an 800-foot pier which extends east of the main boardwalk and north of the private marina docks. The docks are accessed via gates from the public boardwalk.
The Lorain Port Authority’s Eastside Boat Launch is at the Landing’s west side. A launch fee is charged. Two picnic pavilions and a privately owned restaurant are on site. Lakeside Landing is adjacent to the east of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Lorain and the Lorain Port Authority’s Riverside Park which has playground equipment.
From Loraine Impoundment Lakeside Landing (Coastal Access) webpage
From Lakeside Landing, take Arizona Avenue for .1 mile to East Erie Avenue (US-6). Turn right on East Erie Avenue and go .7 mile. Turn right onto Oberlin Avenue and arrive at the Lorain Harbor Boat Ramp.
The city of Lorain’s nearly 2-acre Public Boat Ramp provides six ramps and three parking lots for direct Lake Erie boating access. Entrance to the site is north of the Oberlin Avenue and First Street intersection with one-way traffic directed to exit on the drive and parking lot along First Street near the Hamilton Avenue intersection.
This site is Lorain’s oldest boat launch and is locally known as “Hot Waters” because of its location between a power plant’s warm water discharge on the west and the former ore docks to the east (now the Lorain Public Fishing Pier access site).
Three of the boat ramps are dedicated for launching vessels up to 24 feet long and three are dedicated to boat recovery. Launching of personal watercraft is allowed but may be restricted to the shallowest launch lane on busy days. Boaters are reminded to follow the 100-yard “No Wake” zone which extends from the end of the pier into Lorain Harbor.
Fishing access is provided around the perimeter of the on-water asphalt parking lot which has car-trailer and car-only parking. A second gravel lot is just east of the launch ramps and a third asphalt lot is about 100 yards south of the launch.
The public boat ramp is a city of Lorain Adopt-a-Spot location adopted by the Polish Fisherman’s Club.
1800 West Erie Avenue
Lorain, Ohio 44052
From the Lorain Harbor Boat Ramp, return to West Erie Avenue. Turn right on West Erie Avenue (US-6) and drive .6 mile. Arrive at Lakeview Park on the right.
Lorain County Metro Parks’ first lakeside recreational park, Lakeview Park, offers 20 acres along the north side of West Erie Avenue in Lorain, Ohio. This nearby neighborhood park, known for its Historical Rose Garden, spectacular sunsets and views of the Lorain Lighthouse, hosts a variety of recreational opportunities awaiting visitors of all ages, from swimming and sunbathing, to lawn bowling, beach volleyball, picnicking and much more!
From Lakeview Park webpage
The expansive 42.3-acre Lakeview Park is on US-6 (West Erie Avenue) one mile west of the Black River in the city of Lorain. Parkland is on both sides of the road with the northern 20 acres providing access to Lake Erie. Lakeview Park is also an access point along the Vermilion-Lorain Water Trail.
Lakeview Park includes a one-third mile groomed swimming beach. The foot-friendly sand is darker than many Ohio beaches because 110,000 cubic yards of sand from an upland source was placed here in 1977 when the three breakwaters were constructed. The breakwaters, a large groin at the beach’s east end, and two smaller groins at the beach’s western extent stabilize the beach and provide fishing access. During summer months, lifeguards are on duty daily from noon to 6 pm.
In 2007, Lakeview’s beach area was transformed. The bluff was re-graded to allow for handicap accessible sidewalks leading down to the beach. A new bathhouse was constructed in the design of the original 1920s building. The bathhouse contains a café and eight family changing rooms (five with showers).
Playground equipment and volleyball courts are located on the beach and in upper areas of the park; amenities also include picnic shelters and tables, paved trails, the Historic Rose Garden, lawn bowling, two amphitheaters, spectacular sunsets and views of the Lorain Lighthouse. Parking is located north of U.S. Route 6 which, shares its path with the Back Roads & Beaches Bike Trail through Lorain County.
From Lakeview Park (Coastal Access) webpage
Edgewater Drive at Claremont Road
Vermilion, Ohio 44089
From Lakeview Park, drive southwest on West Erie Avenue for 5.5 miles. Continue onto Liberty Avenue for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto Woodside Avenue for .3 mile. Turn left onto Edgewater and arrive at Showse Park.
Showse Park is an 18.5-acre park on the Lake Erie shoreline in the City of Vermilion. The park is an access point on the Vermilion-Lorain Water Trail. Fishing access, picnic area, walking trail. No lifeguard, swim at one’s own risk.
From Showse Park webpage