Monroe 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.

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

Monroe 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.

Monroe County

Monroe Lake Wildlife Area
Jerusalem, Ohio 43747

From I-70, take Exit Take exit 202 to OH-800 south toward Barnesville. Continue 18 miles on OH-800 where Monroe Lake Wildlife Area will be on both sides of the highway.

This 1,333-acre wildlife area lies on both sides of OH-800, five miles north of Woodsfield. The area headquarters and dam are readily accessible from OH-800. County and township roads provide access to other portions of the area from OH-800 and OH-145.

The rolling to steep topography is typical of this unglaciated region of Ohio. Thirty-six percent of the land is covered by woodland; of this total, 55 percent is sawlog-size stands and 45 percent in pole-size stands. Brushland comprises 35 percent of the area, open land 25 percent. Broad open ridges are under cultivation. Steep wooded slopes descend to the narrow valley floor, on which the 39-acre Monroe Lake is impounded.
From Monroe Lake Wildlife Area webpage

Wayne National Forest–Holmes Wetland
Woodsfield, Ohio 43793

From Monroe Lake Wildlife Area, go south on OH-800 for 9 miles. Turn right onto Plainview Road and go 4 miles. Turn right onto Township Highway 616 and go .4 mile. Turn right onto Stonehouse Road (County Road 42) and go .8 mile. The Holmes Wetland will be on the right.

The Holmes Wetland is on Stonehouse Road (County Road 42) in bottomlands along the Little Muskingum River. Once wetlands were prominent across Ohio’s landscape. Today, they are reduced to scattered fragments. Wayne National Forest is committed to reconstructing many of the historic wetlands which were once found in the forest.
From Wayne National Forest Division of Forestry website

Wayne National Forest–Lamping Homestead Recreation Area
Graysville, Ohio 45734

From the Holmes Wetland, Head northwest on Stonehouse Road. Turn left onto Kinney Ridge Road and go 2.5 miles. Turn left onto OH-26 south and go 2.2 miles. Turn right onto OH-537 west and go 1.7 miles. Turn left onto Clearfork Road and in .2 miles turn left into the Lamping Homestead Recreation Area.

This secluded Lamping Homestead Recreation Area was once the farmstead of the Lamping family. The Lamping family homesteaded this area in the 1800s. Life must have been very hard for these early pioneers. A small cemetery nearby is a testimony to the hardships of trying to raise a family on these early homesteads. Today the area offers camping, picnicking, fishing, canoeing, and a scenic hiking trail. The site has six walk-in campsites, eight picnic sites, and a picnic shelter. There are two loop trails for hiking, one at 3.5 miles and the other at 1.5 miles. A 2-acre pond at the site is stocked with bluegill, bass, and catfish.
From Lamping Homestead Recreation Area webpage

Fly Rest Area
OH-7
Matamoras, Ohio 45767

From Lamping Homestead Recreation Area, take Clearfork Road to OH-537 east and then drive along OH-26 south for 6.6 miles. Follow Rinard Mills Road to OH-260 south for 5.2 miles. Then follow OH-260 south and OH-7 north for 6.8 miles to the Fly Rest Area.

The Fly Rest Area on OH-7 provides views of birds on the Ohio River.

Fly-Sistersville Ferry
OH-7
Fly, Ohio 45767

From the Fly Rest Area, drive northeast on OH-7 for .5 mile. The ferry will be on your right.

The Fly-Sistersville Ferry crosses the Ohio River between Sistersville, West Virginia and the unincorporated community of Fly, Ohio. Known as the oldest ferry in West Virginia, it has been in continuous operation since 1817. It is one of four ferries left on the Ohio River, and the only one along the stretch of the river on the West Virginia and Ohio border.
From Wikipedia

Hannibal Dam (Ohio)
Hannibal, Ohio 43931

From the Fly-Sisterville Ferry, take OH-7 north for 11.2 miles. Turn right on OH-536 and arrive at the Hannibal Locks and Dam.

Hannibal Locks and Dam is one of six major river facilities on the upper Ohio River. An observation platform and visitors facility are at the lock site. The visitors center includes a unique wicket dam and maneuver boat depicting the history of navigation on the Ohio River. The area adjacent to the visitors’ area includes a public day-use area with picnic tables, grills, a shelter, parking areas and restroom facilities.

Hannibal Locks and Dam lies on the right descending bank in Monroe County, Ohio. The locks are directly across from the town of New Martinsville, West Virginia. A private hydropower facility is located on the abutment side of the dam in New Martinsville. The project can be reached either by following OH-7 or by following WV-2 on the West Virginia side, across the bridge in New Martinsville.
From Hannibal Dam webpage