Tuscarawas 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.

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

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

Beach City Dam

5449 US-250 Northeast Beach City, Ohio 44608

From the intersection of I-77 and US-250, take US-250 west for 4.8 miles. Turn left onto Chestnut Ridge Road and drive 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Kaylor Road and arrive at Beach City Wildlife Area in 1.1 miles.

This 1,912-acre northeastern Ohio area is in Tuscarawas County. OH-93, running north-south, forms the east boundary, and US-250 is at the north end of the area. The area lies on the edge of the unglaciated Appalachian Plateau region of Ohio. Elevations vary from 948 feet to 1,200 feet above sea level. Much of the wildlife area is permanently or seasonally flooded.

The purchase of 1,537 acres of land was completed in the late 1930s by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District; the completion of the dam created a permanent reservoir of approximately 420 acres. The Division of Wildlife purchased an additional 375 acres on the southwest end of the area in the late 1960s. The entire area is open to public outdoor recreation. The primary purpose of the area is flood control, with fishing, hunting, and trapping as recreational benefits.

To reach the Beach City Dam from Kaylor Road, go north on Kaylor Road for 0.5 miles. Turn left to stay on Kaylor Road for 0.6 miles. Turn right onto Chestnut Ridge Road for 1.2 miles. Turn right onto US-250 east and go 1.1 miles. Just past the intersection with OH-93, turn left into the Beach City Dam parking area.

Zoar Wetland Arboretum

434 West Fifth Street Zoar Ohio 44697

From the Beach City Dam, turn left onto US-250 east and go 0.7 miles. Turn left onto OH-21 north and drive 1.5 miles. Turn right onto OH-212 east and drive 5.4 miles. Turn right onto Mulberry Street for 0.4 miles. Turn left onto OH-212 east and drive 2.9 miles. Turn right onto 5th Street and arrive at the Zoar Wetland Arboretum.

The volunteers, donors, and Trustees of the Zoar Wetland have worked for 16 years to improve the park for all of our visitors. We know that having a place where one can connect to the sights and sounds of nature in their own neighborhood is important. A short walk on a shady trail with birdsong is one of the simple joys to lift the spirits.

The wetland is an easy drive from the communities of Dover/New Philadelphia, Bolivar, Zoar, and the Canton area. Our trails are short and easy to walk for all ages and abilities.

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail--Canal Lands Park North

Bolivar, Ohio 44612

From the Zoar Wetlands Arboretum, turn left onto US-250 east and go 1.9 miles. Turn left onto 12th Street and then turn left onto Strasburg Bolivar Road. In 0.4 miles turn right onto Zutavern Church Road and stay on this road for 3.7 miles. Turn left onto Fort Laurens Road and then turn right into Towpath Road. In 2.2 miles arrive at the trailhead.

The Canal Lands Park Trailhead is on the Zoar Valley Trail section of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

You will see a Modern bridge that crosses I-77 and a Historic Iron Bridge crossing the river. In the future, the trail will also connect to the Historic Fink Iron Truss Bridge also known as the Old Zoarville Station Bridge.

When you travel the northern section of the trail you will see Ft. Laurens, the Brick Factory, Power Station, Slackwater Dam, Fish Hatchery, and Zoar. Connected to this portion of the trail you will find the Zoar Wetland Arboretum. This casual 3-mile trail follows the level ground of the canal towpath for most of its route. Walking is easy, though at certain times high water, mud, overgrown vegetation, or mosquitoes could impede your progress. If you walk at a moderate pace, pausing to see points of interest, you should allow 3 hours.

When you travel the southern section you will find a railroad trestle and a more natural trail surface. You may find this segment a bit rougher to hike. There are plans to extend the trail to Route 800 with a trailhead. Other sites in this area include Ehler’s Store, the Zoarville Station Bridge, and Camp Tuscazoar. This segment is part of the Buckeye Trail (which continues east from Zoarville) as well as the Boy Scouts’ Zoar Valley Trail.

Atwood Lake--Atwood Marina West

North Shore Drive Northeast Mineral City, Ohio 44656

Atwood Lake--Dam

OH-212 Mineral City, Ohio 44656

To reach the Atwood Lake Dam from the Canal Lands Park Trailhead, turn left onto Dover Zoar Road and go .4 mile. Turn right onto OH-212 east and follow OH-212 for 11.4 miles to the Atwood Lake Dam.

Atwood Lake is located at the western edge of Dellroy in western Carroll County along OH-542. The dam is in Tuscarawas County on OH-212. The eastern part of Atwood Lake Park is in Carroll County and the western part is in Tuscarawas County.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District was organized under state law in 1933 for the primary purpose of flood control, conservation, and recreation. The first waters to form the permanent lakes were impounded in 1938. In 1939 the flood control aspect became the responsibility of the United States Army Corps of Engineers as part of the Ohio-Mississippi Flood Control Program.

From the Atwood Lake Dam, go north of OH-212 for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto Atwood Lake Road and drive 1 mile to the Atwood Lake Marina West.

Norma Johnson Center

Pole Barn: 3870 OH-39 Northwest Dover, Ohio 44622 Picnic Shelter: 2281 Conservation Drive Northwest Dover, Ohio 44622

From Atwood Lake, return to OH-212. Turn right onto OH-212 west and drive 1.8 miles. Turn left onto Johnstown Road and drive 6.2 miles. Make a slight right onto OH-416 north and then turn left onto OH-800 south for 2.2 miles. Turn left onto East Front Street for 0.7 miles. Turn right onto North Tuscarawas Avenue and then turn left onto West 3rd Street and continue onto OH-39 east. Turn right toward Redhill Road and then left to follow Red Hill Road for 1.7 miles. Merge onto OH-39 west for .8 mile. Turn right onto Pyle Road and arrive at the Norma Johnson Center.

The Norma Johnson Center located outside of Dover, Ohio is a nature area open to the public every day of the year from dawn to dusk. Norma Johnson Center’s 303 acres offer a place of solitude in which to observe wildlife, enjoy birding, view wildflowers or just take a brisk walk. Hike on our marked trails while observing first-hand how nature can be improved by care and management. We encourage visitors to take advantage of over 6 miles of trails and our fishing ponds for your enjoyment. The Norma Johnson Center is a great place for a family picnic, group outing, or summer meeting of your favorite community group.

Local bird enthusiasts enjoy the NJC for the different types of birds that they can see during a hike, The upper ridge trail on the Conservation Loop offers birders glimpses of warblers and other woodland creatures. The bird sightings on the Preservation Trail can be bluebirds, field sparrows, and tree and barn swallows. The Johnson Loop is a popular place for those birders who want to get away from the main trails and enjoy birds who are attracted to woodland and open meadow habitats.

Leihley Hill Rd. (view from roadside only)

Sugarcreek, Ohio 44681

From the Norma Johnson Center, turn left onto Gerber Valley Road for .4 miles. Turn right onto Oak Ridge Road and go 1.5 miles. Continue onto Leihley Hill Road.

Leihley Hill Road is north of Sugar Creek and east of Walnut Creek in Tuscarawas County and runs for 4.1 miles from Township Road 417 on the north to Copperhead Road on the south. This road traverses privately owned lands. Please view birds from the roadside only.