Richland County North 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.

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

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

Black Fork Wetlands Preserve

Ashland Road Mansfield, Ohio 44903

From Mansfield, drive northeast on US-42 for 6 miles. The Black Fork Wetlands Preserve is on the right just past the intersection with Bowen Road.

In 1998, with the help of an anonymous donor, Ashland University purchased 38 acres of wetland six miles south of campus on US-42. In 2004, an additional 260 acres was purchased with the support of a grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, with a matching grant from the Richland County Foundation. The Black Fork Wetlands is the largest of Ashland University’s five environmental preserves.

Access to the Black Fork Wetlands Preserve was helped enormously by the development of parking and boardwalk access to the area by OH-42, just inside the Richland County line. This was Phase I of the Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center and included an observation tower, a deck big enough for larger groups, and 400 feet of boardwalk into a marsh adjacent to the Black Fork of the Mohican River. School groups and teacher-training groups have kept this site busy ever since.

Black Fork River--Bowen Rd.

Mansfield, Ohio 44905

From the Black Fork Wetlands Preserve, turn left onto US-42 and go .2 mile. Turn right onto Bowen Road and go .2 miles.

A section of the Black Fork Wetlands can be observed near the bridge where Bowen Road crosses the Black Fork River.

Carpenter Nature Preserve

Mansfield, Ohio 44903

From the Black Fork River, drive north on Bowen Road, cross US-42, and go .6 mile. Turn left on Windsor Road and drive 1 mile. Turn right on Pavonia Road and go 1.1 miles. Turn right on Pavonia East Road and drive 1.4 miles. Turn right into the parking area for the Carpenter Nature Preserve just after crossing the Black Fork River.

This 63-acre park provides access to boating and fishing on the Black Fork River. In addition, all but 20 of the 63 acres eventually will be naturalized into wetland meadows surrounded by wetland forest.

Mansfield Lahm Airport and Vicinity

2000 Harrington Memorial Road Mansfield, Ohio 44903

From Carpenter Nature Preserve, drive southwest on Pavonia East Road for 3.6 miles. Turn right onto OH-545 north and drive .7 mile. Turn left onto Franklin Church Road and go .4 mile. Turn left onto Five Points East Road and drive 2 miles. Turn left onto Linn Road and go 1 mile. Turn left onto Emsberger Road and drive 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Airport Road. View birds along Airport Road and vicinity from your vehicle.

Mansfield Lahm Airport and vicinity has been identified by Audubon Ohio as an Important Bird Area. The roads in this area traverse private lands. Please, view birds from the roadside only.

Cooke Family Conservation Park

4774 OH-13 Shiloh, Ohio 44878

From Mansfield Lahm Airport, drive northwest on Airport Road for .7 mile. Turn right onto Ernsberger Road and drive 1.4 miles. Turn right onto Linn Road and go 1 mile. Turn right onto Five Points East Road. Turn left onto OH-13 north and drive 2.3 miles. The parking area for the Cooke Family Conservation Park is on the right.

This 163-acre park is located in Richland county along the Black Fork of the Mohican River. The property was developed as a wildlife habitat and hunting area. It provides a mixture of grassland, forest, marsh, and waterway. There is a 3-acre fishing pond, picnic shelter, hiking trails, trap shooting range, and sugar camp on the property.