Cleveland Lakeshore West 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.

Cleveland Lakeshore West Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

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

Wendy Park, Whiskey Island

Whiskey Island Drive Cleveland, Ohio 44102

From the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway (OH-2), take the exit toward Edgewater Park and Whiskey Island. Turn right on Ed Hauser Way toward Whiskey Island and drive 1.1 miles to the parking area for Wendy Park.

Wendy Park only covers 25 acres, and much of it is mowed grass lawn. But there are plenty of thickets and stands of cottonwood trees, which can be bursting at the seams with songbirds during peak migratory periods.
From Wendy Park (Whiskey Island) website

Wendy Park, at the eastern terminus Ed Hauser Way (formerly Whiskey Island Drive), provides access to both Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River. The park’s access road is reached via the Edgewater Park freeway ramp off Cleveland Memorial Shoreway (US-6, US-20, and OH-2).

Traveling the length of Ed Hauser Way provides a glimpse of Cleveland’s industrial heritage as it parallels networks of railroad tracks and passes piles of iron pellets and salt, a marina, and a water treatment plant.

Whiskey Island was named after a distillery that was built on the land in the 1830s. The “island” is actually now a peninsula, but when the Cuyahoga River mouth was relocated to its current location in 1827 to straighten the shipping channel, the land was surrounded by water. The old river mouth was filled in the 1920s, and the “island” was no more. In 2004, Cuyahoga County purchased the land that includes the park and Whiskey Island Marina.

The county’s purchase of Wendy Park was spurred by the Friends of Whiskey Island, led by the late, citizen-activist Ed Hauser for whom the access road was dedicated in 2009. The park features sand volleyball courts, a picnic area, trails and fishing access. The park’s Cuyahoga River access includes a 1,440-foot paved pier connecting to the historic Coast Guard station. Wendy Park also affords scenic views of downtown Cleveland.

Lakefront Reservation--Edgewater Park Perkins Beach Overlook

Cleveland, Ohio 44102

From Whiskey Island, drive west on Ed Hauser Way for 1 mile. Turn right toward the Edgewater Marina Boat Ramp parking.

From the Marina, return to Ed Hauser Way, go west to the stop sign. Turn right into Edgewater Park, drive to the lake and turn left into the parking area for the Fishing Pier.

From the Fishing Pier, turn right out of the parking area and get on the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway west for .7 mile. Turn right on West Boulevard. West Boulevard turns slightly right and becomes Upper Edgewater Drive. Turn left into the parking area overlooking Perkins Beach.

This is a unit of the Lakefront Reservation located just west of downtown. Drive west on the Memorial Shoreway (OH-2) and watch for the Edgewater exit. This is a large park with a marina, playing fields, breakwalls, beach access, sheltered picnic tables and a Fishing Pier.

To get to the Edgewater Marina, follow the road that passes east around the yacht club and park near the boat ramps for the Edgewater Marina (see map). A breakwall extends out into the lake along the west side of the water treatment plant. Walking out this wall provides a good view of a breakwall protected portion of the lake excellent for gulls and waterfowl.

To get to the Perkins Beach Overlook, continue west on the shoreway to West Boulevard and turn north. Shortly, you will enter the upper portion of the park. The bluff to the left (sometimes called Perkins Beach) overlooks a slightly protected bend in the shoreline where gulls and waterfowl may congregate. The upper parking area is an excellent lookout spot for spring hawk migration.
From Dick Hoffman

Lakewood Park

Lake Avenue Lakewood, Ohio 44107

From Edgewater Park, take Lake Avenus west for 2.4 miles. At Belle Avenue turn right into Lakewood Park.

The 40.5-acre Lakewood Park is located at the intersection of Lake and Belle avenues in Lakewood. Pedestrians can also access the eastern part of the park from Edgewater Drive just west of Parkside Drive.

Lakewood Park offers many recreational amenities, including a swimming pool, baseball fields, a skate park, playground equipment, tennis courts and sand volleyball courts. The park also features the Lakefront Promenade, a handicap-accessible brick walkway that offers scenic views of Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline. Completed in 2006, the promenade starts at the top of the bluff in the northeast corner of the park and switchbacks down to a lower section which parallels the shore. It is also accessible from the park’s northwest corner via a gravel trail.

Swimming and fishing are not permitted. Additional amenities at Lakewood Park include picnic areas, paved trails and a bandstand. Lakewood’s Oldest Stone House Museum is located on site.

Rocky River Park

Beach Cliff Boulevard Rocky River, Ohio 44116

Rocky River Mouth

Frazier Drive Rocky River, Ohio 44116

Rose Point, Kensington Oval Overlook

Kensington Oval Rocky River, Ohio 44116

From Lakewood Park, turn right onto Belle Avenue and go .2 mile. Turn right onto Clifton Boulevard and drive 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Lake Road and then left onto Beach Road. Drive to the end of the Beach Road to observe birds at the Rocky River Mouth.

Return to Clifton Boulevard and turn right. Go .8 miles, crossing the Rocky River. Turn right onto Kensington Road and go .2 mile. Make a slight right onto Kensington Oval. Rose Point is on the left.

Reverse direction on Kensington Oval and go .2 mile. Turn right onto Beach Cliff Boulevard. Rocky River Park is on the right.

Rocky River Park has a deck which is a great place to set up a scope to view birds on Lake Erie. It is located on Beach Cliff Boulevard north of Lake Road in Rocky River. It is a bit difficult to find on a first visit but well worth the search for viewing birds on the lake.

The 6-acre Rocky River Park is located north of Beach Cliff Boulevard with parking access off Parkside Drive. In 2006, the park underwent $100,000 in improvements including erosion control measures, thus creating a terrace and amphitheater effect.

Along the park’s east side, a handicap accessible paved walkway is separated by a green chain-link safety fence from a low, steep, vegetated bluff at the back of the beach. The walkway leads to an 180-foot pier marking the park’s eastern edge. The park has a 475-foot sand beach fronted by a breakwater; however, swimming, wading, fishing, boat launching and climbing on the erosion control structure are prohibited per city regulation.

The graded, grass-covered bluff on the park’s west side is separated from the beach by a concrete block seawall. Park amenities include picnic facilities, playground equipment, and benches offering Lake Erie views. The park is open from 6 am to sunset. During summer months, Rocky River Park is home to the Sunset Concert Series.

Bradstreets Landing

Lake Road Rocky River, Ohio 44116

Drive east on Beach Cliff Boulveard and turn right onto Falmouth Drive for .2 mile. Turn right onto Avalon Drive. Turn left to stay on Avalon Drive. Turn right onto Lake Road and drive 1.1 miles. The 6-acre Bradstreets Landing is north of US-6 (Lake Road) just east of the East Pond Drive intersection in the city of Rocky River.

The landing’s predominate feature is a 600-foot long, 20-foot wide fishing pier rising more than 20 feet above the surface of Lake Erie. The handicap accessible, paved concrete fishing pier is surrounded by chain link fence and safety rails. Bicycles are prohibited on the pier. A bike rack is located at the foot of the pier on the east side.

Green space in the partially-shaded upper area of the Bradstreets Landing includes amenities including picnic areas, a picnic deck, concession building/bait store and paved trails. This site has a 125-foot sand beach west of the pier. A small groin marks the beach area’s western extent. The east side of the park is accessible by crossing a wooden footbridge over a small Lake Erie tributary. A wooded area lines the back of this 300-foot long sand beach.

Per city regulation, swimming and wading are not allowed at Bradstreets Landing; however, the launching of windsurfers and sailboats is permitted from the east beach. Posted warnings remind water-users to stay clear of fishing lines extending from the pier. Launching of power boats, jet skis, and inflatable watercraft is prohibited.

Park hours are sunrise to sunset.

Columbia Park

Lake Road Bay Village, Ohio 44140

From Bradstreets Landing, turn right onto Lake Road and drive 1.8 miles. Columbia Park is on the right.

The melody of water cascading from a 40-foot tall shale bluff, pooling at the bottom, and then flowing into Lake Erie is a predominant feature of the city of Bay Village’s 1.6-acre Columbia Park.

This quaint access site is north of US-6 (Lake Road) at the northwest corner of the Columbia Road (OH-252) intersection. Parking is available on the south side of Lake Road in a small lot west of Columbia Road.

From the sidewalk, a paved walkway leads through the center of a mowed-grass green space to a steep bluff face topped by a concrete platform. The platform is surrounded by a green chain-link safety fence. To the west, an observation deck overlooks a small creek. At the base of the bluff (and waterfall), this Lake Erie tributary crosses a 15-foot wide beach – a mixture of glacial till, shale stones, sand, and shell fragments.

The beach is accessible by traversing 67 concrete steps with another observation platform four feet above the beach near the base of the steps. Signage at the park notes that the beach is not guarded and the water may be contaminated after rain events. A bike rack and trash cans are in the upper park area. Columbia Park closes at dusk.

Cahoon Park

Lake Road Bay Village, Ohio 44140

From Columbia Park, drive west on lake Road for 1.1 miles. Cahoon Park is on the right.

Cahoon Memorial Park is approximately 116 acres of mixed use parkland located in the center of Bay Village between Dover Center and the MetroParks, and Wolf Road and Lake Erie. The park is divided by trees and Cahoon Creek with the east and west sides each offering different amenities. This section of Cahoon Memorial Park is located between Dover Center Road and Cahoon Road and Wolf Road and Lake Erie, it is the hub of active recreation with within the city. The Aquatic Center, Play-n-Bay Playground, and baseball fields are located here, making it a popular destination; especially during the summer months.

Huntington Reservation

Lake Road Bay Village, Ohio 44140

From Cahoon Park, drive west on Lake Road for .7 mile. Turn left onto Porter Creek Drive and then turn left into Huntington Reservation. Follow the road to cross to the parking area on the north side of the reservation.

Huntington Reservation is in Bay Village on the shores of Lake Erie. Picnic areas high above the beach offer visitors opportunities to enjoy the striking and ever-changing lake views. Breakwalls allow anglers to fish in Lake Erie in all seasons. The reservation is also home to three Cleveland Metroparks affiliates, Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, Huntington Playhouse and BAYarts.

One of the oldest reservations in Cleveland Metroparks, it still contains many unusual botanical specimens brought here from Europe by John Huntington, the previous owner and reservation namesake. The Huntington Water Tower, a well-known landmark, was used to pump water from the lake to irrigate Mr. Huntington’s fields of grapes.