Mahoning County 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.
Mahoning County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Mahoning County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
Lake Milton State Park
16801 Mahoning Avenue
Lake Milton, Ohio 44429
From I-76, take Exit 54 for OH-534 toward Newton Falls and Lake Milton. Turn onto OH-534 south and go .3 mile. Turn right at the first cross street onto Mahoning Avenue and drive 1.3 miles. Turn left into Lake Milton State Park.
See the Lake Milton State Park page for a description and links to the several eBird hotspots in the state park and around Lake Milton.
1,006-acre Lake Milton State Park lies in the portion of the Appalachian Plateau in Ohio that was overridden by glaciers some 12,000 years ago. This glaciated plateau contains a great variety of plants, animals, and natural habitats. The plateau’s rolling hills are interspersed with forests, bogs, old fields, streams, and lakes.
The plateau is a major meeting ground of plants and forest types from the southern Appalachians and northern Allegheny regions. For instance, it is possible to see substantial stands of white oak and hickory which are typical of the southern Appalachians as well as northern hemlock forests which are more common in the northern Allegheny region. This tension zone accounts for the great diversity of plants in the area. Star flower, spring beauties, mountain maple, anemones, and wood aster grace the floor of beech-maple woodlots.
Animals suited to this area include cottontail rabbit, red fox, raccoon, muskrat, and woodchuck. Bird life is diverse with robins, warblers, pine siskins, hawks and owls being commonly seen. Reptiles found here include the midland painted turtle and the northern watersnake.
From Lake Milton State Park, drive west on Mahoning Avenue for .2 mile. Turn left onto Southeast River road and go .5 miles. Turn left onto Palmyra Road and drive 8.3 miles. Make a slight left onto Herbert Road and go 1.4 miles. Turn right onto South Turner Road and go .3 mile. Turn left onto Herbert Road and drive 1.9 miles. Continue onto US-62 east and drive 1.3 miles. Continue straight onto Shields Road and drive 2.9 miles. Turn left onto Sheban Drive and go .2 mile. Turn right onto West Newport Drive, go .5 mile, and arrive at the parking for Newport Wetlands in Mill Creek Park.
The above directions take you to Newport Wetlands, one of several eBird hotspots in Mill Creek Park. If you have more time to explore the park, see the Mill Creek Park page for a description and links to all the hotspots.
Mill Creek Park was established in 1891 by Volney Rogers as the first park district in Ohio. Mill Creek Park is the largest area of the MetroParks encompassing 2,882 acres of the MetroParks’ 4,400 acres. Recreation opportunities include hiking, biking, boating, fishing, golf, tennis, volleyball, picnicking, cross-country skiing, sledding, and much more. Mill Creek Park offers 20 miles of drives and 15 miles of foot trails.
Mill Creek flows through the Park in a northerly direction supplying water to three lakes. Mill Creek Park extends along the Mill Creek Valley from Western Reserve Road to the confluence of Mill Creek and the Mahoning River.
The northern section of Mill Creek Park includes Lanterman’s Falls and the Mill Creek Gorge. This area offers breathtaking views with its cascading waters; steep hillsides, beautifully covered with deciduous and evergreen trees; bold sandstone outcroppings; and numerous grass-covered meadows. South of the gorge, the land is rolling and partly wooded.
Hitchcock Woods, south of US-224, includes dense woods and extensive wetlands, undeveloped except for primitive trails. The Mill Creek Preserve, acquired with grant monies in 2006-07, extends Mill Creek Park to Western Reserve Road and features a 102-acre Category 3 wetlands.
The Newport Wetlands, located at the southern end of the lake, provide habitat for a variety of plants and animals. Visitors can experience this complex web of flora and fauna by walking the Albert E. Davies Wetland Trail, a boardwalk through the wetlands with interpretive signs along the way. Kayakers can explore the wetland habitat through water trails inaccessible from land. Hikers can access West and East Channel and Islands Trails and West Newport Trail.
Columbiana, Ohio 44408
From the Newport Wetlands, drive southwest on West Newport Drive for .5 mile. Turn left onto Sheban Drive and go .2 mile. Turn left onto Shields Road and go .6 mile. Turn right onto Glenwood Avenue and drive 3.3 miles. Turn left onto Roche Way and go .5 mile. Turn right onto OH-7 south and drive 4.8 miles. Turn left onto East Pine Lake Road.
Pine Lake may be viewed on the north end from East Pine Lake Road and on the south end from Lipply Road. View birds on this lake from the roadside. A spotting scope is helpful for viewing distant birds.
West Calla Road
Canfield, Ohio 44406
From Pine Lake, drive north on OH-7 for 1.9 miles. Turn left onto OH-165 and drive 2.1 miles. Turn right onto New Buffalo Road and drive 2.1 miles. Turn left onto West Calla Road. Bird West Calla Road from your vehicle for the next 3 miles.
This area has always had short-eared owls in winter, many northern harriers, other grassland and prairie species along with several ponds that attract shorebirds during migrations. It is well known to local birders and, being a low traffic area, it is easy to park along the road or on several pull offs.
Vickers Nature Preserve
Canfield, Ohio 44406
From Calla Road, drive north on OH-46 for 2.8 miles. Keep left to continue on OH-446 west and drive 1.6 miles. Turn left onto US-224 west and drive 1.7 miles. Turn right into Vickers Nature Preserve.
This 262-acre preserve, acquired in 1993, is located on Akron-Canfield Road (US-224) in Ellsworth Township. The Preserve is located between the Buckeye Horse Park to the south and Mahoning Valley Sanitary District (MVSD) property to the north. Vickers Nature Preserve consists of diverse habitats, including meadows, woodlands, wetlands, and ponds. There are also several small streams flowing through the Preserve that flow directly into Meander Creek just upstream of the Meander Reservoir. By preserving these stream habitats, Vickers Nature Preserve helps protect the drinking water resources relied on by nearly 220,000 Trumbull and Mahoning County residents.
An adequately sized parking lot allows park users to access the site for recreational and educational purposes. Hiking is permitted throughout the site, as is access to the Buckeye Horse Park Trail. Programs such as naturalist-guided nature hikes and educational programs are frequently held at this facility. Hiking is permitted; parking available at this facility, and restrooms are located at the Buckeye Horse Park.