Trumbull 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.
Trumbull County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.
This Birding Drive explores eBird hotspots in Trumbull County. When you submit checklists here you help to add to the data about birds in this region of Ohio.
Please, note that each of the locations on this birding drive has multiple eBird hotspots. You will most likely have time to explore only one or two of the locations in each area if you are trying to do this birding drive in one day.
Grand River Wildlife Area
West Farmington, Ohio 44491
From Warren, drive north on OH-45 for 14.1 miles. Turn left onto Norton Lane and drive 1 mile. Arrive at Norton Lane Ponds in the Grand River Wildlife Area.
This large wildlife area is comprised of almost 7,000 acres of mostly second-growth and swamp forest with a scattering of older growth forests.
The best area for birding is at Norton Lane Ponds. This area is mostly a complex of shallow ponds with dikes running along them, giving you a great view of the surrounding wetlands which provide great cover for wetland birds. Some birds that breed here include Pied-billed Grebe, Least Bittern, Common Moorhen, Sora, Virginia Rail, Hooded Merganser, and Marsh Wren and surrounding woodlands host Cerulean Warblers.
Another location you may want to check out is a trail and boardwalk off of Hoffman-Norton Road. The trail will lead you past a marsh into a mature woodland. If you are looking for owls, try looking north of the parking lot where you will find pines and spruce.
Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area
Bristolville, Ohio 44402
From the Grand River Wildlife Area, drive east on Norton Lane for 1 mile. Turn left onto OH-45 north and drive 1.9 miles. Turn right onto OH-87 east and drive 4 miles. Turn right onto Chaffee Dodgeville Road and drive 1 mile. Chaffee Dodgeville Road turns left and becomes Gardner Barclay Road for .7 mile. Turn right onto Hoagland Blackstub Road and drive 1.2 miles. Arrive at Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area.
Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area, located at the north end of Mosquito Lake, was formed by damming Mosquito Creek. It is composed mostly of second-growth forests, fields, ponds, wetlands, and the lake itself making it fantastic for birding. During spring and fall, large numbers of migrating waterfowl use Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area as a pit stop with good numbers of Long-tailed Ducks, Snow Geese, and other waterfowl. During the fall, large numbers of shorebirds can be found if mudflats are present. American Avocets, Whimbrels, and Marbled Godwits have been seen in the past. The best area for viewing waterfowl and shorebirds is from Hoagland-Blackstub Road looking east over the lake. If you visit during the winter, expect to see large numbers of raptors including Rough-legged Hawks and possibly a Northern Goshawk. Other birds that can be found during the winter include Short-eared Owls, Northern Shrikes, Snow Buntings, and possibly northern finches.
Mosquito Lake State Park
Cortland, Ohio 44410
From Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area, drive south on Hoagland Blackstub Road for 8.5 miles. Turn left onto OH-305 east and drive 1.8 miles. Arrive at the Lakeview Recreation Area of Mosquito Lake State Park.
Before Ohio was settled, the banks of Mosquito Creek were hidden by a vast forest that covered most of the state. Little remains of the ancient forest that stood for nearly 10,000 years. In the Mosquito Lake area, regrowth has occurred and the nice stands of beech-maple woodlands can be enjoyed. In pioneer times, the beech-maple belt was very extensive and stretched from Mansfield to Pennsylvania. The reason is that this area has more cloudy days, cooler summer temperatures and more winter snow cover as compared to the rest of Ohio.
The park’s woodlands support colonies of spring beauties, anemones, Dutchman’s breeches, purple cress, and other spring wildflowers. Goldenrod and asters will bloom in the fall in the park’s open areas. Many wildlife species find the park’s varied habitats suitable. Red fox, woodchuck, muskrat, beaver, fox squirrel, raccoon, rabbit, and white-tailed deer are common. Recently, river otters were reintroduced in nearby favorable locations. Several otter families have been sighted.
Many birds live in or migrate through the area including robins, warblers, swallows, and sparrows. The yellow-bellied sapsucker and hairy woodpecker are uncommon in other parts of Ohio but abundant in this part of the state. Numerous species of waterfowl and shorebirds take advantage of the park’s many wetlands during spring and fall migrations. Canada geese, herons, tundra swans, great egrets, and a variety of ducks can be observed. Large predatory birds including several species of hawks and the magnificent bald and golden eagles have been spotted here.
Howland Township Park
Warren, Ohio 44484
From Mosquito Lake State Park, drive northeast on OH-305 east for .5 mile. Turn right to stay on OH-305 for .2 mile. Turn right onto McCleary Jacoby Road and drive 2.2 miles. Turn right onto OH-46 south and drive .8 mile. Turn right onto North River Road and go .9 mile. Turn left into Howland Township Park and arrive at the Wetland Trail.
The two wetland trails at Howland Township Park were built on land on Mosquito Creek deeded to the township by the Mahoning River Consortium which had purchased it with Clean Ohio funds. Clean Ohio funds have also been used at various stages of development of the trail system and boardwalks.
Access to the Boardwalk Trail (built in 2008) is at the southwest corner of Howland Township Park. From the park entrance, Turn left and park along the road just before it turns to the right (north). Signs point the way to a dirt path that leads through the wetland to a raised 730-foot boardwalk which takes you over open water with the wetland on either side. The boardwalk is constructed of recycled plastic lumber. At its terminus stairs lead down into the wetland where often muddy trails enable you to explore further.
The original and more extensive wetland trail starts behind the pavilion at the northwest corner of the park. After a short distance, it crosses Anderson Avenue Northeast and continues for over a mile to North River Road. Anderson Avenue ends at a small complex that includes the dog pound. It is a good idea to walk out Anderson Avenue toward the sound of barking and check the wetland on either side of the road before continuing on the wetland trail. With the exception of a small boardwalk, the trail is unpaved and normally wet and muddy in places; waterproof footwear is highly recommended.
Shenango Wildlife Area
Kinsman, Ohio 44428
From Howland Township Park, turn right onto North River Road and go .9 mile. Turn left onto OH-46 north and drive 3 miles. Turn right onto OH-305 east and drive 1.5 miles. Turn left to merge onto OH-11 north and drive 3.9 miles. Take the OH-5 exit and turn right onto OH-5 east for 2 miles. Continue straight onto OH-88 east for 3.6 miles. Turn left onto OH-7, then turn right to stay on OH-88 east for 1.3 miles. Turn right onto Orangeville Kinsman Road and drive 1.1 miles. Turn right on Milligan East Road and arrive at the Milligan Road hotspot in Shenango Wildlife Area.
The Shenango Wildlife Area is situated in northeastern Ohio, in eastern Trumbull County, 22 miles north of Youngstown. It extends from Orangeville northwest along Pymatuning Creek, nearly to the Ashtabula County line. Most of the area is paralleled by OH-7 on the west and Orangeville-Kinsman Road on the east. OH-88 crosses the center of the area.
Topography ranges from gently sloping to nearly level. The soils are moderately well drained and of low to moderate fertility. Approximately 60 percent of the habitat consists of second growth hardwoods. The timber stands are mainly pin oak, green ash, elm, sugar and red maples, and a mixture of hickories. Index of Ohio’s trees from the Division of Forestry. Cropland and open land make up 21 percent, brushland 15 percent, and wetlands 4 percent of the wildlife area.
The Shenango Wildlife Area consists of the Ohio portion of the Shenango River Reservoir project owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938. The Shenango dam was completed in July 1965. There is no reservoir within the Ohio portion of the project; the dam and all waters are in Pennsylvania, except during extreme flood conditions. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, has administered the lands under a long-term license with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since 1968.
Wildlife management activities have included development and management of several hundred acres of grain crops and meadows, primarily for food and nesting of upland game and waterfowl. Woods have been protected and improved. Some former pastures and crop fields have been selected to return to woodland through natural succession and planting of thousands of trees and shrubs; vegetation in others is regulated by controlled burning, selective spraying, brush hogging, and the establishment of food patches for general wildlife use. Waterfowl production has been enhanced by providing nest structures for wood ducks.