Vinton 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.

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

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

Turkey Ridge Wildlife Area

Vinton, Ohio 45654

The 377-acre Turkey Ridge Wildlife Area is located in Brown Township, Vinton County. Turkey Ridge is approximately three miles south of the village of New Plymouth on OH-328.

Turkey Ridge Wildlife Area consists predominantly of clear-cut woodland within the Appalachian Foothills Focus Area, connects to Zaleski State Forest, and will be managed to provide forestland habitat. Turkey Ridge consists of 80 percent forestland, 19.5 percent open land, and less than one percent of wetlands and open water.

A variety of songbirds, reptiles, and amphibians also live on the area in association with the mixture of habitat types.

Vinton County Airport Pond

26998 Pumpkin Ridge Road New Plymouth, Ohio 45654

From Turkey Ridge Wildlife Area, drive south on OH-328 for 2.3 miles. Turn right onto Airport Road and go 1.6 miles. Turn right onto Pumpkin Ridge Road and arrive at the pond in .5 mile.

The Vinton County Airport Pond may be viewed from Pumpkin Ridge Road on the north side of the Vinton County Airport. Please, view birds from the roadside only.

Superior Wildlife Area

Wellston, Ohio 45692

From the Vinton County Airport Pond, return to OH-93 via Pumpkin Ridge Road and Airport Road. Turn left onto OH-93 south and drive 6 miles. Turn right onto West Main Street and go .2 mile. Turn left onto South Spring Street and go .8 mile. Continue straight onto Wolf Hill Road and drive 2.2. miles. Make a slight right onto Mount Zion road and drive 2.1 miles. Turn left onto OH-683 and drive 1.3 miles. Turn right onto Murphy Remy Road and go 1.5 miles. Make a slight left onto Township Highway 13 and arrive at the parking area for the Superior Wildlife Area in 2.3. miles. Bird from your vehicle along Township Highway 13 and walk from the parking lot.

This wildlife area features a terrain that ranges from rolling to hilly. Logging roads provide easy access on foot to virtually all portions of the area. Nearly all of this wildlife area is wooded with the dominant tree species consisting of oak, hickory, yellow poplar, and maple. Recent timber harvesting operations have provided a mosaic of woodland age classes throughout the forest which, in turn, provide a diversity of wildlife. Newly harvested tracts are dominated by blackberry and raspberry bushes along with young trees.

Users of Superior Wildlife Area should be aware that motor vehicle use is prohibited. Vehicle access to the area is limited to Township Highway 13. A parking area is located at the end of Township Highway 13.

Wellston Wildlife Area

Hamden, Ohio 45634

From Superior Wildlife Area, return to OH-683 via Township Highway 13 and Murphy Remy Road. Turn right onto OH-683 and drive 1.7 miles. Turn left onto Wolf Hill Road and go .2 mile. Continue straight onto Lake Road and drive 1.1 miles. Turn right onto Lakeview Road and arrive at Wellston Wildlife Area where the road dead ends in 1.2 miles.

The topography includes gently rolling, reverting old fields and woodland. The 973 acres of uplands surrounding the lake provide a variety of habitats for wildlife. Forty-five percent of the land is covered by woodland, 25 percent by brushland, and 30 percent by open land. The lake encompasses 325 acres, 25 percent of the total area. At conservation pool, the lake is about two miles long with a maximum depth of 28 feet. Shoreline cover includes rooted aquatic vegetation, overhanging brush, felled shoreline trees, and submerged brush piles.

Lake Rupert

OH-683 Hamden, Ohio 45634

From the Wellston Wildlife Area, return to OH-683. Turn left onto OH-683 south. There are views of Lake Rupert and parking areas along the next 2 miles of OH-683.

Lake Rupert is located within the 1,298-acre Wellston Wildlife Area. This public area is in Clinton and Richland townships, Vinton County approximately one mile north of Hamden. Lake Rupert lies along OH-683, one-half mile north of the intersection with OH-93.

To reach the Lake Rupert Spillway continue south on OH-683 until you reach OH-93. Turn left onto OH-93 north. Watch for the small unmarked pull off for the Lake Russell Spillway in 1.7 miles.

Lake Alma SP (Vinton Co.)

Wellston, Ohio 45692

From the Lake Rupert Spillway, drive south on OH-93 for 1.3 miles. Turn left onto Wilkesville Avenue and go .6 miles. Turn right onto OH-349 south and drive .8 mile. Turn left into Lake Alma State Park.

Lake Alma lies nestled in the heart of the unglaciated hill country of Ohio. These hills are part of the Appalachian Highlands. Most of the rock layers are acidic sandstones, shales, and coals with an occasional limestone member. Much time has passed since the region was first uplifted from the ancient sea that once covered Ohio–allowing for the development of many different habitats. Today, this region supports more than seventy percent of Ohio’s remaining woodlands on only one-third of the state’s land. Lake Alma contains a fine example of the second growth forest now covering this part of the state. In this area, the forest is mainly of a mixed oak composition.

With the advent of forest succession on surrounding farmlands, upswings in the population of deer, grouse, gray squirrel and other woodland species were encouraged. In the late 1950s, wild turkeys were reintroduced into this part of the state giving Vinton County the highest population of this species. Other valuable resources found at Lake Alma include a vast array of woodland wildflowers such as large-flowered trillium, wild geranium, and hepatica. The forest floor is blanketed with a variety of ferns, mosses, and lichens. The Wood Thrush, Pileated Woodpecker, Great-horned Owl and Barred Owl make this park their home.

Vinton Furnace State Forest--Raccoon Ecological Management Area

Vinton, Ohio 45651

From Lake Alma State Park, return to OH-349. Turn right onto OH-349 and go .8 mile. Turn left onto Wilkesville Avenue and drive .6 miles. Turn right onto OH-93 north and drive 4.1 miles. Turn right onto OH-324 south and drive. .3 mile. Turn left on to Sam Russell Road and follow this road for 3.7 miles where it becomes Experimental Forest Road. Bird roads from your vehicle or walk in the Raccoon Ecological Management Area.

The topography on the Raccoon Ecological Management Area property is hilly for the most part and includes some steep and rocky hillsides. This property has been extensively managed for timber production and provides a diversity of forestland wildlife habitat. Oak, hickory, maple, and yellow poplar dominate the mature forest and the understory consists of greenbrier and shade-tolerant woody shrubs.

Many well-established logging roads traverse the area making nearly all portions of the property accessible on foot. Surface mining that occurred on site has resulted in several constructed ponds.