Huron 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.

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

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

Norwalk Memorial Reservoir

Norwalk, Ohio 44857

Norwalk Reservoirs 1,2, and 3 are in Huron County. The reservoirs total 159 acres with 5 miles of shoreline. The Norwalk Reservoirs are located just southeast of the city of Norwalk at the corners of OH-18 (Medina Road) and Old State Road, and two miles east of US-250.

Norwalk Memorial Reservoir (Reservoir 3) is the largest of the three and has the most species reported via eBird. Parking is available at the entrance off Old State Road between Reservoir 1 and Reservoir 3.

Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve

West River Road Wakeman, Ohio 44889

From the Norwalk Memorial Reservoir, turn right onto South Old State Road and go .7 mile. Turn right onto Cleveland Road and go .8 mile. Continue straight onto US-20 and drive 9.2 miles. Make a slight left onto Hyde Street and go .6 miles. Continue straight onto West River Road and the Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve is ahead .7 mile on the right.

Located in Huron County, the Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve is just a short drive from Wakeman. Formerly named the Vermilion River Preserve, it now bears the name of Augusta-Anne Olsen, who, with her husband, was instrumental in protecting the significance of this scenic natural area.

The Vermilion River, which runs in a huge bend around the preserve, has created many small plant communities with different exposures offering a great deal of diversity in a relatively small area.

Birding along the river is outstanding in the springtime. Bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, scarlet tanagers and many species of wood warblers can be spotted in the preserve. The floodplain also offers many vernal, or seasonal, pools of water teeming with breeding amphibians, such as dusky, redback and smallmouth salamanders.

New London Reservoir

2495 Euclid Road New London, Ohio 44851

From Augusta-Anne Olsen State Nature Preserve, drive south on West River Road for 1 mile. Continue onto Hyde Street and in .2 mile turn left onto West Main Street. In .3 mile turn right onto OH-60 south and follow OH-60 for 7.8 miles. Turn right onto Prospect Street and go .7 mile. Continue straight onto Miner Street and drive .3 mile. Miner Street turns slightly left and becomes Euclid Road. Follow Euclid Road .6 mile to the entrance to the New London Reservoir on the right.

New London Reservoir is in Huron County. The lake has 220 acres of fishing water with 2.63 miles of shoreline. The reservoir is located in the southeast corner of Huron County in New London Township. Approximately one mile east of US-250 on Town Line Road, it is an upground reservoir, whose water is supplied by the Vermilion River.

Willard Reservoir

Willard, Ohio 44890

From the New London Reservoir, turn right onto Euclid Road and go .3 mile. Turn right onto Base Line Road and drive 2 miles. Turn right onto US-250 west and drive 3.3 miles. Turn left onto OH-162 west and drive 8.7 miles. Turn left onto OH-161 south and arrive at the Willard Reservoir in 3.3 miles.

Willard Reservoir is an upground reservoir; water is obtained by pumping from the Huron River, which runs along the east side of the reservoir. It was completed and filled in 1971 and designed to provide water for the city of Willard, low-flow stream augmentation to the Huron River, and water for agricultural use and recreation.

Willard Marsh Wildlife Area

Willard, Ohio 44890

From the Willard Reservoir, drive south on OH-61 south for 2 miles. Turn left onto OH-598 south for .3 miles. Turn right onto US-224 west and drive 1.6 miles. Make a slight left onto Bull Head Road and go 3.7 miles. Turn left onto Section Line Road 30 south and arrive at the parking area for Willard Marsh Wildlife Area on the left in 1.3 miles.

This 1,676-acre wildlife area lies in the muck farming region of north central Ohio, four miles southwest of the city of Willard. Section Line Road provides access to the area from US-224, three miles west of Willard. The area may also be reached by driving west of Bullhead Road from its junction with US-224 and continuing 1.5 miles past the village of Celeryville.

Willard Marsh Wildlife Area is quite flat, with little natural drainage. Approximately two-thirds of the area is woodland; the remainder is divided about equally between open land and brushland.

Almost 13,000 acres of ancient bogland once surrounded the site of Willard Marsh Wildlife Area. During the last glaciation, some 25,000 years ago, a large, shallow lake was formed. This lake was originally a finger of glacial Lake Erie. As the rich, shallow-water vegetation decayed, plant material gradually filled the huge lake bed and northern bog plants such as sphagnum moss, cranberry, blueberry, royal and cinnamon ferns, and various sedges became established.