Mosquito Lake State Park
Cortland, Ohio 44410
Mosquito Lake State Park website
Mosquito Lake State Park map
Mosquito Creek Lake (US Army Corps of Engineers) webpage
Mosquito Creek Lake brochure
Mosquito Creek Lake map
eBird Bar Charts by Season
US Army Corps of Engineers Recreation Sites
Ohio Birding Day Hike
Mosquito Lake State Park Trails
Four hiking trails allow visitors to explore the park’s woodlands and scenic shoreline. More than 8 miles of bridle trails give equestrian access to the park’s interior. Snowmobilers have access 13 miles of wooded trails. Mountain biking is permitted on all multiple-use trails.
The Bridle Trail is on the west side of the lake.
The Turkey Run Trail is on the east side of the lake.
Tips for birding Mosquito Lake State Park
The state park covers the southern half of Mosquito Lake (south of Denman Road). The main attraction is waterfowl during fall through spring (depending on ice), which are best observed off the causeway or at the southern end near the dam. Keep an eye out for Long-tailed Ducks, scoters, Red-throated Loons and unusual grebes. The woodlot immediately west of the dam hosts Red-headed Woodpeckers year-round. Although most birders spend the majority of their time birding the north end of the lake within the Wildlife Area, many rarities are found at the south end including Western Grebe and Brant.
From Cortland, head southwest out of town on OH-305. After driving across the Mosquito Lake dam, take next right into the main entrance of the park.
From Ohio Ornithological Society
Birds of Interest by Season
When there’s open water, waterfowl numbers can be good. Snow Buntings are annual on the causeway (Route 88). Bald Eagles.
Red-headed Woodpeckers, Purple Martins and other common breeding species. Bald Eagles.
About 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 cresses, 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.
From Mosquito Lake State Park webpage
About Mosquito Creek Lake
Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938, Mosquito Creek Lake is one of 16 flood control projects in the Pittsburgh District. The project provides flood protection for the Mahoning River Valley as well as the Beaver and upper Ohio Rivers.
Since its completion in 1944, Mosquito Creek Lake has prevented flood damages estimated to be in excess of $418 million. Mosquito has the capability to store the equivalent run-off of 29 inches of precipitation from its 97 square mile drainage area. When compared to the saving which have resulted, the construction cost of just over $4 million appears small.
Mosquito Creek Lake also stores water and releases it downstream during dry periods to improve water quality and quantity for domestic and industrial use, recreation, aesthetics and aquatic life.
A feature unique to Mosquito Creek Lake is its use of an uncontrolled natural spillway. The natural spillway is located at the upper end of the lake in a low-lying reach of the Mosquito Creek – Grand River Divide. The elevation of the spillway at the point of divide is such that if an impoundment of flood waters should fill the lake, to an elevation of 904 feet above sea level, the southerly outflow of the lake would be reversed. The outflow would then be discharged through the natural spillway into a tributary of the Grand River which flows north into Lake Erie.
The lake and most of its surrounding lands are leased by the Corps of Engineers to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as Mosquito Lake State Park. However, you will find that both the Corps and Ohio Department of Natural Resources provide numerous, well-maintained facilities at the lake to enhance your recreational experience. Mosquito Creek Lake is the second largest inland lake in Ohio with Grand Lake St. Mary’s being the largest.
The Corps maintains five recreation areas in the vicinity of the dam. These include picnic areas with tables and grills, parking and easy access to the lake’s shoreline or tailwaters area for fishing and sightseeing, as well as a nature trail. Old Route 305 provides a three lane boat launch ramp. Also in this area is a “watchable wildlife” site that can be accessed near the nature trail. Accessible restrooms for persons with disabilities are available at the Lakeview Recreation Area and the Tailwater Recreation Area. A fishing access area for the physically challenged is also available at the Lakeview Recreation Area.
From Mosquito Creek Lake (US Army Corps of Engineers) webpage
Restrooms at locations identified on Mosquito Lake State Park map.