Fulton 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.

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

Fulton County, just west of the popular Oak Openings region in Lucas County, is one of Ohio’s “under-birded” counties (fewer than 1000 eBird checklists). This Birding Drive gives birders an opportunity to explore several excellent birding locations west of the Oak Openings and to help add data for bird sightings in Fulton County.

Maumee State Forest--Stewardship Trail

Swanton, Ohio 43558

From Swanton, drive west on US-20 Alternate for 1.8 miles. Turn left onto County Road 3 and drive 3.1 miles. Turn right onto County Road D and go .4 miles. The parking area for the Maumee State Forest Stewardship Trail is on the left.

Maumee State Forest is located 15 miles southwest of Toledo in northwestern Ohio and covers 3100 acres. The flat topography and natural features are a result of the Wisconsin glacier passing through this area about 18,000 years ago. This area, with its poorly drained soils ranging from fine yellow sand to dark muck soil, is known locally as the Oak Openings region. The western part of the State Forest is in Fulton County.

One way to explore this part of the State Forest to take the self-guided walking tour of The Stewardship Trail. You can download a Stewardship Trail brochure and map for your walk. The brochure offers a 1 mile, 30 minute easy walk; and a 2 mile, 60 minute easy walk. The trail reveals many aspects of what forest management can accomplish. the area shows a variety of forest management techniques and how the implementation of these techniques has impacted the forest. While on The Stewardship Trail at Maumee State Forest, you may be surprised to learn that the trail you are walking along is actually a form of forest management. The trail is a network of fire lines or firebreaks put in place to help firefighters more easily contain a wildfire.

Another way to explore this section of the State Forest is to drive the roads and bird from your vehicle.

Greenlawn Cemetery, Delta

Adrian Street Delta, Ohio 43515

From the Stewardship Trail parking drive west on County Road D for 3.9 miles. Turn right onto OH-109 north and drive 1.1 miles. Turn left to stay on OH-109 and drive 2.1 miles. Turn left onto West Main Street for .3 mile. Turn right onto Adrian Street and go .1 mile. Turn left into Greenlawn Cemetery.

Greenlawn Cemetery is located on the west side of Adrian Street and can be viewed from Main Street when entering the downtown business district.

This Cemetery is an “under-birded” location in this region with checklists by a few birders in the spring. The species list should expand as it is visited by birders in all seasons of the year.

Delta Reservoir No. 1

Delta, Ohio 43515

Delta Reservoir No. 2

Delta, Ohio 43515

From Greenlawn Cemetery, turn left onto Adrian Street and drive .8 mile. Turn right onto County Road H and go .2 miles. Turn left into the parking areas for the Delta Reservoirs.

Both of the Delta Reservoirs lie one mile north of the village of Delta, on County Road H, 1.5 miles east of OH-109. A boat ramp and parking area are located on the south side of Reservoir #2 off of County Road H. A small boat ramp is situated at the parking area on the south side of Reservoir #1. Delta Reservoirs 1 and 2 are in Fulton County. Reservoir #1 has 39 acres, with 1.1 miles of shoreline. Reservoir #2 is 50 acres, with 1.13 miles of shoreline. The reservoirs are managed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife District 2.

Both of these reservoirs have been birded primarily in the spring. The bird species list for each of them should grow as birders visit in all seasons of the year.

Wauseon Reservoir

Wauseon, Ohio 43567

From the Delta Reservoirs, turn right onto County Road H and drive 3.3 miles. Turn left onto County Road 11 and drive 4 miles. Turn right onto County Road D and drive 3 miles. Turn left onto OH-108 and drive 1 mile. Turn right onto County Road C and go .7 mile. Arrive at the Wauseon Reservoir parking on the left.

Wauseon Reservoir is a good place to look for waterfowl in the spring, fall, and winter when it’s not iced over. Loons, mergansers, and a number of duck species are regularly present at Wauseon. There is a lone dead tree on the south side of the reservoir that is a popular perch for birds of prey including American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, and Bald Eagle. In some years the lower reservoir can provide shorebird habitat. Greater Yellowlegs, Least, Semipalmated, and Spotted Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, and American Golden Plover have been observed there. Savannah Sparrows are present during summer. Pipits, Horned Larks, and Snow Buntings are possible on the rocks or the fields surrounding the reservoir in the winter.
From Brandon Brywczynski

Like other locations in Fulton County, this reservoir is an “under-birded” area and holds much potential as more birders visit and record their sightings.

Goll Woods State Nature Preserve

Archbold, Ohio 43502

From Wauseon Reservoir, drive west on County Road C for 1.3 miles. Turn right onto County Road 16 and drive 2 miles. Turn left onto OH-2 and drive 6.9 miles. Keep right to continue onto Township Road E and drive 2.9 miles. Turn right onto Township Road 26 and go .7 mile. The preserve parking lot located on the east side of the road.

Goll Woods is the least disturbed woodland known to remain in extreme northwestern Ohio. This preserve features some of the largest trees remaining in the state. The Woods exemplifies the “Black Swamp” forest which once covered a vast area of the flat post-glacial lake plains southwest of Lake Erie. An outstanding feature of this woods is the abundance of giant bur oaks and exceptionally large white oaks, chinquapin oaks and cottonwoods. Many of these magnificent trees are 200-400 years old and measure 4 feet in diameter. A rich variety of native shrubs and wildflowers occur in the woods including spotted coralroot and three-birds-orchid. The preserve is best visited in the spring before mosquitoes emerge.

Visiting Goll Woods gives visitors a sense of what the primeval pre-settlement woods that cloaked the Great Black Swamp region of Ohio must have been like. There is an excellent trail system through the preserve, which is easily accessed from the main parking area. As the woods is in a heavily agricultural area, both spring and fall migration can be excellent for a wide variety of passerines, to which the woods stands out like a beacon among all the barren fields. Noteworthy breeding birds include Barred Owl, Red-headed Woodpecker (year-round), Scarlet Tanager, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Tiffin River Wildlife Area

Zone, Ohio 43521

From Goll Woods State Nature Preserve, drive North on Township Road 26 for .3 mile. Turn right onto County Road F and drive 2.8 miles. Turn left onto OH-66 north and drive 1 mile. Continue straight onto County Road 23 and drive 2.4 miles. Tiffin River Wildlife Area is on the left.

The 463-acre Tiffin River Wildlife Area is located in Fulton County. Access can be gained from OH-66 and county roads in the area. There is a parking lot off of County Road 23.

The bird species list for this “under-birded” wildlife area should grow as more birders visit throughout the year.

Harrison Lake SP

County Road M Fayette, Ohio 43521

From Tiffin River Wildlife Area drive north on County Road 23 for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto County Road L and drive 1 mile. Turn right onto OH-66 north and drive 1 mile. Turn left onto County Road M and drive 1.9 miles. Arrive at Harrison Lake State Park on the right.

Harrison Lake State Park is located five miles southwest of Fayette off US-20 between US-127 and OH-66 on County Road M. Harrison Lake State Park surrounds the lake. The lake and state park are definitely an “under-birded” location in Ohio. The species list for this lake should grow as more birders visit the park.

The area comprising Harrison Lake State Park was at one time part of a vast wetland. This mysterious area contained towering trees, soggy black soil and was a haven for the swamp rattlesnake (or massasauga, as it is also known). Very little remains of that once great swamp, but the park still harbors unique natural features associated with wetlands.

Great blue herons and common egrets can be sighted at the lake’s shallow western end. Numerous songbirds inhabit the park’s meadows and woodlands such as the vesper sparrow, common yellowthroat and brown thrasher. Several species of reptiles and amphibians find the park’s habitat suitable. Box turtles, painted turtles, garter snakes, green frogs, and American toads are found here. Small mammals such as red fox, raccoon, skunk and the uncommon thirteen-lined ground squirrel are frequently seen.