Rocky River Reservation 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.

Rocky River Reservation Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

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

Cuyahoga County

Rocky River Reservation is located in Berea, Brook Park, Cleveland, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, Olmsted Township, and Rocky River. The first land purchased for Cleveland Metroparks can be seen from the Stinchcomb-Groth Memorial.

The character of the reservation is strongly influenced by the Rocky River. Massive shale cliffs rise above the willows, sycamores, and cottonwoods, and many trails wind through the valley’s deep floodplain forests, meadows, and wildflowers. Wildlife is common in the valley and visitors can expect to see numerous bird species and some common Ohio mammals year-round, including the white-tailed deer. Visit Rocky River Nature Center to learn more. The reservation includes three golf courses: Big Met, Little Met, and Mastick Woods.

The Rocky River Valley was settled early in this area’s history and reflects many of the sights common to the first settlers. Frostville Museum, an affiliate of Cleveland Metroparks, illustrates how the 1800s settlers lived and worked in the Rocky River Valley.
From Rocky River Reservation webpage

Rocky River Reservation–Rockcliff Drive
From the I-90 and US-20 intersection, take Rockcliff Drive east from US-20 for .4 mile until you reach Valley Parkway.

There is a parking area at the intersection of Valley Parkway and Rockcliff Drive which gives access to the Valley Parkway Trail.

This area has for many years been one of the sites visited in April and May for the Cleveland Area Spring Bird Walks. Over 165 bird species have been reported in this area.

Rocky River Reservation–South Mastick Picnic Area
From the Rockcliff Drive parking area turn left onto Valley Parkway and drive 4.8 miles. Turn left into the South Mastic Picnic Area parking lot.

The South Mastic Picnic Area has been a location for many years for the Cleveland Area Spring Bird walks in April and May. Over 175 bird species have been observed in this area.

The South Mastic Picnic Area features a fishing area, shelterhouse, ball field, public telephone, physically challenged access, decorative fountain, grills, parking, restroom facilities.

South Mastick Picnic Area is located off Valley Parkway in Rocky River Reservation, south of Puritas Road and Mastick Road in Fairview Park.
From South Mastick Picnic Area webpage

Rocky River Reservation–Nature Center Trails
From the South Mastick Picnic Area, turn left onto Valley Parkway and drive 2.8 miles. Turn right onto Shepard Lane and arrive at the Rocky River Nature Center.

Nestled in the Rocky River Valley, Rocky River Nature Center offers spectacular views of a 360 million-year-old shale cliff from the deck overhanging the river. Go backward through time inside the Nature Center as you explore exhibits about the early inhabitants of the valley including the giant fish of the Devonian sea, Dunkleosteus.

Children of all ages enjoy Hideaway Hollow, a giant oak tree with lots of things to discover. View wildlife from the comfort of an Amish made rocker at our bird feeding station.

Explore the gardens outside on your way to over five miles of trails that lead from the Nature Center. The trails will take you to the rivers edge, a wetland forest, ponds, hilltops and an ancient American Indian earthwork. The nature sightings change along the trail in each season.
From Rocky River Nature Center webpage

Rocky River Reservation–Cedar Point Road
From the Rocky River Nature Center, turn right onto Valley Parkway and drive .4 mile. The Cedar Point picnic are parking areas are on the left.

There are parking areas for the Cedar Point picnic areas in the vicinity of Valley Parkway and Cedar Point Road.

It is possible to do a circuit hike in this area, hiking one way on the Bridle Trail and returning via the Valley Parkway Trail.

Rocky River Reservation–Lagoon Picnic Area
From Cedar Point Road, drive south on Valley Parkway for .4 mile. The parking area for the Lagoon Picnic Area is on the right.

The Lagoon Picnic Area has a shelter with fireplace, grills, ball field, fishing and ice fishing area, waterfowl area, ice skating area, physically challenged access, grills, parking, restrooms.

Lagoon Picnic Area is located off Valley Parkway in Rocky River Reservation, between Cedar Point Road and Spafford Road in Brookpark.
From Lagoon Picnic Area webpage