Ross Lake Wildlife Area
eBird Bar Charts by Season
About Ross Lake Wildlife Area
This area lies two miles east of Chillicothe. Easy access is available from US-35 via the East Main Street exit and Blacksmith Hill Road (C-238). The 125-acre lake lies in the comparatively shallow Lick Run valley between steep slopes and flat-topped hills which are covered by brushlands, old fields, and mature woodlands.
More than half the land is wooded; oak and hickory are the most common upland hardwoods, along with lesser numbers of beech and sugar maple. Elm, ash, and maple are the major bottomland hardwoods. Patches of red and white pine have been planted in reverting upland fields. Index of Ohio’s trees from the Division of Forestry. One-fifth of the area consists of reverting old fields with a mixture of shrubby coverts and native grasses. Hawthorn, wild crabapple, sumac, blackberry, and Japanese honeysuckle are important wildlife food plants in and along these old fields. Nearly one-fifth of the land is maintained as open land.
This area was covered by the Illinoian and early Wisconsin glaciers, but not by the latest Wisconsin glaciation. Thus a high percentage of the land is too steep for agricultural uses. Prior to state acquisition, most of the area was reverting farmland and heavily cutover woodland. Land acquisition for the wildlife area began in 1958. Construction of the Ross Lake dam was completed in 1967.
Wildlife management work has included the protection and improvement of existing woodland, selective management of shrubby coverts, and maintenance of permanent open land.
Hunting and fishing are the major recreational uses along with nature study, hiking, boating, and bird watching.
From Ross Lake Wildlife Area webpage
No restroom facilities.