Knox County 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.

Knox County Birding Drive
Click on the hotspot names below to view the page about that hotspot.

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

Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area

Fredericktown, Ohio 43019

The Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area is in Knox County, 1.5 miles northwest of Fredericktown and five miles northeast of Chesterville. The area can be reached by traveling two miles northwest of Fredericktown on Waterford Road (County Road 6).

There are several eBird hotspots within with Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area which you may choose to visit while you are in the area.

It is part of the North Branch of Kokosing Lake flood control project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Approximately 1,113-acres are managed by the Division of Wildlife for fish and wildlife, including a 160-acre lake. Limited camping and picnicking are provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The dam and the camping and picnic facilities are in the southwest corner of the area north of County Road 6. There is a five-acre island in the south end of the lake. A 1.5-acre pond lies in the northeast corner of the area along with four acres of marsh.

A large woodlot consisting mainly of pin oak and hickory is located on the south end of the lake, east of the North Branch Kokosing River. Several small streams flow into the area from the north and west.

Ackerman Nature Preserve

Salem Avenue Extension Fredericktown, Ohio 43019

From Kokosing Lake Wildlife Area, drive southeast on Waterford Road (County Road 6) for 2 miles. Turn right onto Blackburn Drive and go .2 miles. Arrive at the Ackerman Nature Preserve.

The Ackerman Nature Preserve located on the corner of Salem Avenue Extension and Blackburn Drive. There is not a parking lot yet but you can park at one of the local businesses. It’s in a small industrial park where a field has been flooded or allowed to flood. This is a good place to observe migratory waterfowl.

Knox Lake

Fredericktown, Ohio 43019

From Ackerman Nature Preserve, drive northeast on Salem Avenue for .6 mile. Continue onto OH-95 east and drive 3.3 miles. Turn right onto Old Mansfield Road and drive .5 mile to Knox Lake. This is the Knox Lake–Old Mansfield Road North eBird hotspot.

There are several eBird hotspots around Knox Lake which you may wish to explore while you are in the area.

Knox Lake is located about 1.5 miles northeast of Fredericktown and can be accessed via OH-95. The marina and main boat ramp are located on the lower section of the reservoir along Armentrout Road. Other boat ramps are located off County Road 5 in the upper section of the reservoir.

Knox Lake was built by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife in 1954. The reservoir, created by damming the Kokosing River, was built primarily for recreation. The reservoir is 469 acres in size and has 11.4 miles of shoreline. Maximum depth is over 24 feet near the dam, although much of the water is 12 feet or less. Bottom composition is made up of rock and gravel in the lower section and mud and silt in the upper section. The upper section of the reservoir was purposely left full of standing timber to provide natural cover to enhance fishing. In the lower basin trees have been felled along the shoreline to provide additional cover.

Foundation Park

South Norton Street Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050

From Knox Lake, drive southwest on OH-95 for 3.3 miles. Continue straight onto Salem Avenue and go .4 mile. Make a slight right onto Waterford road and go .4 mile. Turn left onto OH-13 south and drive 7.9 miles. Turn left onto West Chestnut Street for .1 mile. turn right onto North Mulberry Street for .3 mile. Continue straight onto Phillips Drive which turns right and becomes South Main Street. Make a slight right onto Columbus Road. Turn right onto South Madison Avenue. Turn right onto South Norton Street and continue until it dead-ends in Foundation Park.

Foundation Park, once the home of Goodwin Sand and Gravel, is a new park in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Kokosing Gap Trail--Lower Gambier Rd.

Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050

Drive north on South Norton Street, turn right onto South Madison Avenue, and go .2 mile. Turn left on Columbus Road and go .3 mile. Turn right onto South Main Street and go .2 mile. Continue onto Newark Road, turn left onto Mount Vernon Avenue, and go .9 mile. Turn right onto Lower Gambier Road and go .1 mile. Arrive at Lower Gambier Road Trailhead on the right.

The Kokosing Gap Trail is a paved, 14-mile recreational trail built on a former Pennsylvania Railroad line with endpoints in Mount Vernon and Danville, Ohio.

Visitors will traverse the Kokosing River twice on railroad bridges more than 250 feet long, with forests, wetlands, agriculture, and villages along the way. Awesome flora and wildlife make it a great way to commune with nature and shape up at the same time! A 1940 Alco 0-6-0 locomotive and a 1924 Chesapeake & Ohio caboose sit next to the Trail in Gambier and a wonderful park with play structure is adjacent to the Trail in Howard.

Water fountains and restrooms are available on the Trail in Mount Vernon, Gambier, and Howard. In Danville, facilities are in Memorial Park. Water is turned off and restrooms closed mid-November to mid-April. The Howard restroom is open all year. Park benches are located along the Trail about every .5 mile, and a public phone is available at the shelter in Gambier.

Brown Family Environmental Center

Kenyon College 9781 Laymon Road Gambier, Ohio 43022

Drive southwest on Lower Gambier Road for 3.2 miles. Turn right onto OH-229 and go .6 mile. Turn right onto Laymon Road for .1 mile. Arrive at the Brown Family Environmental Center on the left.

The Kenyon Center for Environmental Study opened in October 1995. In 1999 it was renamed the Brown Family Environmental Center at Kenyon College to recognize a generous gift from the Minigowin Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio to honor Robert Bowen Brown and family. The center covers approximately 380 acres with a visitor center, many gardens, and a variety of natural habitats.

Ramser Arboretum

Jelloway, Ohio 43014

From the Brown Family Environmental Center, drive north on Laymon Road for .4 mile. Continue straight onto West Wiggin Street and go .3 mile. Turn left onto OH-308 and drive 2.7 miles. Turn right onto Gilchrist Road and follow Gilchrist Road for 5.7 miles. Turn right onto OH-3 north and drive 6 miles. Turn right onto OH-205 south and arrive at Ramser Arboretum.

Ramser Arboretum contains 680 acres of mature woods, reforested old fields and wetlands in the hilly glaciated Allegheny Plateau of northwest Knox County.

Ramser Arboretum’s old fields have been planted with over 150,000 native hardwood trees. The Arboretum has over five miles of hiking trails. Watch for wild turkeys.