Perry 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.

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

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

Perry County

Rush Creek Lake (Perry County)
Rushville, Ohio 43150

Rush Creek Lake is located on the border of Fairfield and Perry counties, approximately 13 miles northeast of Lancaster and 6 miles southwest of Somerset, with access on County Roads 26 (Perry County) and 74 (Fairfield County) off US-22. There is an eBird hotspot at each of these locations.

The Rush Creek Conservancy District maintains a boat ramp and parking lot on the southwest side of the lake in Fairfield County off of the Thornville Road (County Road 74) entrance. From Rushville take US-22 east for 1.1 miles. Turn left onto Thornville Road and drive 1.5 miles to the boat ramp.

To reach the eBird hotspot in Perry County on the east end of the lake return to US-22 and drive east from Thornville Road for 1.3 miles. Turn left on Rush Creek Road and drive .4 miles to the parking area.

Construction on Rush Creek Lake was initiated in 1981. The lake was permanently filled to the seasonal pool late in 1984. Owned and operated by the Rush Creek Conservancy District, Rush Creek Lake impounds 300 acres on Little Rush Creek. The watershed consists primarily of cropland, pasture, and forested hills.
From Rush Creek Lake webpage

Twin Churches Lake
Junction City, Ohio 43748

From Rush Creek Lake, return to US-22 and drive east .3 mile. Turn right onto Avalon Road and drive 2.2 miles. Turn right on Harvey Road, then left onto Locust Grove Road, and drive 1.1 miles. Thur left onto Purvis Road and in .2 mile turn right to stay on Purvis Road. In .3 mile turn left onto OH-37 east and go 2 miles. Turn right onto Flag Dale Road and drive 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Mainesville Road west and go 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Township Road 185 and go 1 mile to Twin Churches Lake. The road to the parking area is on the right off of Township Road 185.

Twin Churches Lake is a lake with public access near Junction City.

Clouse Lake
Lake Saint Joseph
Somerset, Ohio 43783

From Twin Churches Lake, return to Township Road 185 and drive northeast, retracing your route, for 1 mile. Turn right onto Mainesville Road and drive 1.6 miles. Turn left onto OH-668 north and drive 5 miles to Clouse Lake. (Note that OH-668 jogs west onto OH-37 for .8 mile.)

Clouse Lake Wildlife Area is 52 acres and includes 25 acres of water. Only electric motor boats permitted while lake fishing. This area is also a public hunting area. Clouse Lake Wildlife Area is located east of OH-668.

After birding Clouse Lake, continue north on OH-668 for 1.3 miles. Turn right onto Big Inch Road and drive 1.3 miles. Turn right onto OH-383 and go .5 mile. Turn right onto Reading Township Road 122 and arrive at Lake Saint Joseph in .3 mile.

Clouse Lake Wildlife Area is a very small property, centered around the small lake of the same name. The property includes some 96 acres in the valley of the Center Branch of Rush Creek, with about 32 acres of the lake. A newer 63-acre lake has been built just up the valley from Clouse Lake, Lake Saint Joseph.
From Clouse Lake webpage

Perry State Forest
Perry State Forest–Number 8 Hollow Road
New Lexington, Ohio 43764

From Lake Saint Joseph, go north on Reading Township Road 122 for .3 mile. Turn right onto Old Somerset Road and drive 1.5 miles. Make a slight left onto Green Road and drive .5 mile. continue onto Township Highway 146 and go .4 mile. Turn left onto Township Highway 149 and then turn right onto Number 8 Hollow Road.

Bird Number 8 Hollow Road for the next 1.3 miles from your vehicle, stopping to view birds as you see them.

Continue birding on roads in Perry State Forest. There are many roads through the state forest to explore. From Number 8 Hollow Road, continue to bird by turning left onto Forest Road 3. Turn left onto Forest Road 4 to bird this road. If you bird additional roads or lakes in Perry State Forest, please suggest eBird hotspots.

Much of Perry State Forest was strip mined for coal prior to existing reclamation law, resulting in very rugged, sometimes barren terrain. Since the state acquired the area in 1961, some reclamation has been accomplished, including a large area along County Road 48. Several reforestation and test tree plantings have been established on the forest. Note: The AVP area is open from April 1 through November 30.

The Perry APV area is the most popular public riding area in Ohio. Miles of challenging trails are open. Picnic tables and latrines are provided at the parking area.

Perry State Forest has a very scenic, day-use bridle trail system. Parking for horse trailer rigs is provided along County Road 48. The Miles Lake water is suitable for horses.

The diversity of forest cover encourages a variety of wildlife species and hunting opportunities.
From Perry State Forest website