Union 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.

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

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

Keckley Park

Bear Swamp Road Marysville, Ohio 43040

From Marysville, drive west on Northwest Parkway for 4 miles. Turn right onto Bear Swamp Road and go 2.6 miles. Arrive at Keckley Park.

Established in 1970, the park is located on the west side of Bear Swamp Road and honors the parents of Ina B. Keckley. The park facilities include a playground, picnic shelter, wetlands, hiking trails, fishing lake, ball fields, amphitheater and a 15-acre prairie restoration project.

Marysville Upground Reservoir

Raymond Road Marysville, Ohio 43040

From Keckley Park, drive south on Bear Swamp Road for .4 miles. Turn left onto Shirk Road and go 2.9. miles. Turn right on Raymond Road and drive 2.6 miles. Arrive at Marysville Upground Reservoir.

The Marysville Upground Reservoir located on Raymond Road was constructed in 2008 and put into service in 2009. The reservoir has a capacity of 1.39 billion gallons of water. The city started using the water in the reservoir as a drinking water source in the fall of 2009. There is a 2.1-mile gravel path around the top of the reservoir that provides many people a source of exercise. All visitors shall abide by the guidelines posted for reservoir use. No recreational activity is permitted in the reservoir due to its use as a drinking water source for the public.

Jim Simmons Trail

Marysville, Ohio 43040

From the Marysville Reservoir, drive north on Raymond Road for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto Cotton Slash Road and go .9 mile. Turn right onto Brown School Road and drive .8 mile. Turn right onto OH-31 south and drive 2.2 miles. Turn right onto Stallion Way and arrive at the Jim Simmons Memorial Trail in .2 mile.

The Jim Simmons Trail is a 3-mile hiking and biking trail which begins at the parking lot at Mill Creek Park and Schwartzkopf Park and ends at the northern end of the trail on Silverspur Lane in Mill Valley.

McCarthy Park

Marysville, Ohio 43040

From Jim Simmons Trail, drive east on Stallion Way for .2 mile. Turn left onto Creekview Drive for .5 mile. Turn right onto OH-31 south and drive 2 miles. OH-31 turns right and becomes North Main Street. Turn left onto East Fourth Street and go .5 mile. Turn left onto Cherry Street and go .4 mile. Arrive at McCarthy Park.

McCarthy Park is 15-acres located off North Cherry Street. The shelter is available for rent. Features of the park include:
+ Basketball Courts
+ Fishing
+ Picnic Areas
+ Playground Equipment
+ Public Restroom Facilities
+ Shelter House (No Electrical Outlets)
+ Walking Trail

Glacier Ridge Metro Park

9801 Hyland Croy Road Plain City, Ohio 43064

From McCarthy Park, drive south on Cherry Street for .5 mile. Continue onto Columbus Avenue and go 1 mile. Continue onto Industrial Parkway and drive 8 miles. Turn left onto Brock Road and drive 2.5 miles. At the traffic circle, take the first exit onto Hyland-Croy Road and drive .4 mile. At the traffic circle take the first exit and arrive at Glacier Ridge Metro Park.

The large meadow area traversed by the Ironweed Trail is a great place to see Eastern Meadowlarks and Tree Swallows (there are plenty of nesting boxes for the latter). The patch of woods along this trail contains Maple, Oak, and Hickory trees.

The Ironweed Trail ends at the Honda Wetland Education Center.

Glacier Ridge was named for the end moraine or glacial debris left behind when the glaciers retreated some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago. Much of the 1,037-acre park was once covered with farmland. Visitors can traverse a boardwalk through the Honda Wetlands Area or climb a 25-foot observation tower to see waterfowl and other animals.