Huron River Birding Drive

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.

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

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

The Coupling Reserve

From Milan, turn right onto US-250 west and drive 1.1 miles. Turn right onto OH-13 north and drive 1.2 miles. Arrive at the Coupling Reserve on the right.

Located on OH-13 in Milan Township, the Coupling MetroPark Reserve is one of the parks of the Erie MetroParks system. The park has an authentic Station House, caboose and box car. 26 acres of outdoor area available for picnicking, hiking, fishing, cross country skiing and sledding. Huron River access is provided for canoeing and small boat launching. The Coupling Reserve park is just a few miles from downtown Milan.

Dupont Marsh State Nature Preserve

River Road Huron, Ohio 44839

From the Coupling Reserve, drive northeast on OH-13 north for .8 mile. Turn right onto Mason Road and go .8 mile. Turn left onto River Road and drive 2.3 miles. Arrive at Dupont Marsh on the left.

Located on the east side of the Huron River, 3 miles upstream from Lake Erie on County Road 126 (River Road). Parking area available near water tower on River Road

DuPont Marsh was made possible by a gift from the DuPont Chemical Company to the Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, which in turn donated the preserve to the division in 1980.

Most of the preserve consists of a marsh situated along the edge of the Huron River. The vegetation varies with the depth of the river; pondweeds and water-milfoil being in the deepest areas, with burreed, cattail, and spatterdock occurring closer to shore.

Other interesting species include waterdock and pickerelweed. One of the most significant species occurring in the marsh is leafy blue flag, a state endangered plant. Few river marshes still remain anywhere in Ohio along the streams flowing into Lake Erie.

DuPont Marsh plays an important role in the life history and nutrition of Lake Erie fish and waterfowl. The higher ground adjacent to the marsh was formerly pasture and farmland. These areas are now occupied by typical old-field vegetation, such as hawthorn and locust.

Huron River Flats--OH-2

Huron, Ohio 44839

From Dupont Marsh, drive .3 miles northeast on River Road. Arrive at Huron River Flats.

The Huron River is especially broad and shallow here, with brushy islands, mudflats, and shallows on either side of the large bridge conveying OH-2 over the river. In winter and migrations, when the river is not too high, it is very attractive to birds, especially shorebirds and roosting gulls.

Huron River Boat Ramp

41 Cleveland Road East Huron, Ohio 44839

Drive north on River Road for 1.8 miles. The Huron River Boat Ramp is on the left.

Completed in 2010, the Huron River Boat Access is a four-lane boat launch facility affording access to the Huron River and Lake Erie.

The site along 577 feet of the east bank of the Huron River is north of the bridge that carries Cleveland Road/US-6.

The four-lane launch features handicapped-accessible docks, restrooms, and parking for 135 vehicles with trailers. A courtesy dock parallel to the river bank allows for loading, unloading, and temporary tie-ups. There are no launch fees or parking fees.

The site was acquired and developed by the ODNR Divisions of Watercraft and Wildlife. It is maintained by the city of Huron.

Amenities: Drinking Water, Paved Trail, Fishing, Wildlife Viewing, Benches, Restroom, Boat Launch, Parking, Handicap, Courtesy Dock

Huron Harbor--Impoundment

Huron, Ohio 44839

From Huron River Boat Ramp, turn right onto Cleveland Road and go .4 mile. Turn right onto Main Street for .3 mile. Main Street turns left and becomes Cleveland Road. Turn right onto Williams Street for .1 mile. Turn right onto South Street. South Street turns eflt and becomes Main Street. Continue straight to parking for Huron Harbor.

Located at the terminus of North Main Street on the west bank of the Huron River, the two-third-mile-long West Pier provides access to the Huron Lighthouse.

The West Pier is a jetty, which, along with the jetty on the east riverbank, helps keep the river’s shipping channel open.

Constructed in 1936, the 72-foot-tall white steel tower, pyramidal lighthouse was one of the first electrically powered beacons on Lake Erie. The light was formerly operated by remote control from an on-shore brick station but was automated in 1972. The light can be seen over a twelve-mile radius and is maintained by the United States Coast Guard.

The Huron Spoil Site, a confined disposal facility, is located along the northern two-thirds of the pier’s west side. This approximately 68-acre containment facility may one day be a park; however, the site is currently only partially filled. The facility is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The pier and the cement foundation surrounding the lighthouse are open year-round. Both are popular sites for fishing, walking and bird watching. The southern portion of the pier is handicap accessible. The northern extent is comprised of large limestone blocks of varying heights which require an able-footed walker to traverse. There are no other amenities on site.