Lake Loramie State Park–Siegles Bridge

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Shelby County

Lake Loramie SP–Siegles Bridge
Coordinates: 40.3941044, -84.2848392
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Ohio Birding Day Hike
Lake Loramie Trails

About Siegles Bridge
Siegles Bridge is located on OH-119. There are parking areas on the west of the bridge that provide views of Lake Loramie. There is another small parking area east of the bridge which provides access to a mowed trail along the creek north of Lake Loramie.

The map below shows the parking area, and a thin green line denoting the “trail”. If one is traveling east from Minster, cross the bridge, parking is on the left at a chain gate with two yellow posts typical of the park. A sign says “Public Hunting Area.” The Park mows along the edge of the water a strip easily 20-40 yards wide that made for easy walking.

The habitat is mature second growth hardwood with a nice mid-height understory. There are also forested and buttonbush wetlands present. It is a very nice “sliver” of what northwest Ohio was probably like prior to settlement, though trees are second growth, and there are some non-native naturalized plants present. One can also bird both sides of the creek channel, though it cannot be crossed to get closer on the far side! Totally reasonable distance with decent optics however.

Years ago I fished there as a grade school and high school student before I started birding. Little did I know then how many migrants were passing through in spring and likely fall, to go with the local breeding populations. What strikes me now about this site, and the others around Lake Loramie is that they are “islands” of trees in a sea of agriculture, essentially “ migrant traps”. It was both eye-opening and really fun!

Spring and fall are good times to seek migrant warblers, thrushes, and vireos among others. Lots of singing (nesting almost certainly) Baltimore Orioles, vireos, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, Wood Thrushes, House Wrens, and 4 or 5 species of woodpeckers, too. I found a Prothonotary Warbler nest across the road so they are around too. Winter may interesting for sparrows and finches.
From Tom Moorman

About Lake Loramie State Park
Although difficult to imagine, Ohio at one time had more than two-thirds of its surface covered by massive sheets of ice as much as a mile thick in places. At least three great ice sheets invaded Ohio’s boundaries in the geologic past. The last one retreated 12,000 years ago.

These ice advances directly impacted the natural features now evident at Lake Loramie State Park. Materials deposited by the glaciers included clay, sand, gravel, and boulders of various sizes.

In the western half of Ohio where the land is generally level, these deposits resulted in some of the world’s richest soils. A great forest emerged after the glacial era, covering 95% of the state. In the vicinity of Lake Loramie, the vegetation consisted of mainly beech forests which thrived in the moist, fertile soils of the region.

Today, little can be seen of that mighty forest because development of the land for agriculture and other purposes has drastically altered the original vegetation. Small woodlots, grass plains, prairie, and farmland are typical of the area today.

The park’s campground supports a colony of the unique bald cypress tree as well as a plantation of sweet gum dating back to the early 1950s. Waterfowl, including Canada geese, frequent the park along with various songbirds and small mammals. Wildflowers flourish in the forests and fields.

On the lake, waterlily, cattail and a beautiful display of American lotus enhance the view. A trail leading to Blackberry Island will treat visitors to glimpses of nesting red-headed woodpeckers and barred owls. The park’s meadows support a large population of eastern bluebirds.
From Lake Loramie State Park webpage

Restrooms at various locations in the park.
Handicap accessible facilities at various locations in the park.