Akron 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.

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

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

Bath Nature Preserve

4160 Ira Road Bath, Ohio 44210

From I-77, take Exit 138 for Ghent Road. Turn west onto Ghent Road and go .4 mile. Make a slight right onto Cleveland Massillon Road and drive 2.4 miles. Turn left onto Ira Road and drive 1 mile. Turn left onto Hickory Farm Lane and arrive at Bath Nature Preserve in .5 mile.

The Bath Nature Preserve is a 410-acre parcel, which was formerly part of the Raymond Firestone Estate. It was funded by a bond issue that passed in March 1996 and purchased in October 1997 by Bath Township.

The Bath Nature Preserve was open for public use in August 2001. all of the trails provide public access allowing for an experience of varied habitats and terrain while protecting the sensitive and unique areas of the property.

The Bath Nature Preserve’s diverse habitat and physical feature range from open fields of grassland and old-field habitat to old growth forests and wetlands, which include a tamarack bog, five ponds, and two creeks.

Hampton Hills Metro Park

Main Entrance: 2925 Akron-Peninsula Road Mountain Bike Area: 2092 Theiss Road Akron, Ohio 44313 Play Field: 1940 W. Steels Corners Road Top O’ the World: 1285 Bath Road Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44221

From Bath Nature Preserve, turn right onto Ira Road and drive 3.4 miles. Turn right to stay on Ira Road for 1 mile. Turn right onto Akron Peninsula Road and drive 1.2 miles. Turn left into Hampton Hills Metro Park parking area.

In 1964 the City of Akron needed flat land on which to build a water tower. It leased 116 acres of woods and ravines to Metro Parks in exchange for land within Goodyear Heights Metro Park. Three years later, Rhea H. and E. Reginald Adam donated 162 acres of adjacent farmland to Metro Parks, and the 278-acre Hampton Hills Metro Park was born. In 2010, the park district signed a lease for the adjacent Hardy Road landfill, bringing the park to its current size of 655 acres.

More than 10,000 years ago, glaciers retreated from Northeast Ohio, carving ravines and valleys. The glacially-formed Adam Run Valley is home to an unusual plant called rush, which lines the banks of the stream. Along the trails, oak, elm, sycamore and black walnut trees provide habitat for a variety of birds and other wildlife. A grove of white pine, planted by Girl Scouts in the late 1960s, offers visitors a cool, scented respite.

Today, at the Top O’ the World Area, open fields contain milkwort, ironweed, Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrods, and asters. Bluebird boxes, which are monitored by volunteers, rise above the meadow grasses. Each summer, bluebirds sit perched atop the nest boxes, watching for their insect prey. Other notable bird species include woodcocks, wild turkeys, and large birds of prey like red-tailed hawks. The hawks can be seen soaring above the meadows as they hunt for small voles and mice.

Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park

Riverview Road Peninsula, Ohio 44264

From Hampton Hills Metro Park, turn right onto Akron Peninsula Road and drive 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Ira Road and go .3 mile. Turn right onto Riverview Road and drive 3.7 miles. Arrive at Deep Lock Quarry on the right in .1 mile.

Within Deep Lock Quarry lies Lock 28, which at 17 feet was the deepest lock on the Ohio & Erie Canal and an old quarry from which blocks of Berea sandstone were cut for the canal locks and other local structures.

Ferdinand Schumacher, who is credited with introducing oatmeal to America by supplying it to Union troops during the Civil War, purchased a portion of the quarry in 1879. The sandstone found in the quarry was ideal for millstones, which were used to remove the outer hulls of oats processed at Akron’s American Cereal Works (later Quaker Oats). Stone was last taken from the quarry in the 1930s, when the Civilian Conservation Corps used the sandstone to construct several Metro Parks facilities, including Pioneer Shelter in Goodyear Heights Metro Park. Deep Lock Quarry became a Metro Park in 1934.

Today, the park is home to more Ohio buckeye trees than any other Metro Park in Summit County. The old canal bed is home to frogs, turtles, and salamanders. A shallow swamp has developed on the quarry floor, where rose pink (a herb) and the invasive narrow-leaved cattail grow.

Munroe Falls Metro Park

Munroe Falls, Ohio 44262

From Deep Lock Quarry, turn right onto Riverview Road and go .8 mile. Turn right onto OH-303 east and drive 3.5 miles. Turn right to merge onto OH-8 south and drive 6.3 miles. Exit onto Second Street and go .3 mile. Turn left onto Northland Street, then turn left onto Front Street, and go .4 mile. Turn right onto Hudson Drive for .2 mile. Continue onto Bailey Road for .3 mile. Turn left onto Munroe Falls Avenue and drive 1.5 miles. Turn right onto South Main Street for .2 mile. turn left onto South River Road for 1 mile. Arrive at Munroe Falls Metro Park on the right.

Before Metro Parks purchased 222 acres from the Renner family in 1978, John Renner owned and operated a swimming park here. In the 1930s, the family built a two-room summer cabin and dug a small fishing lake near the present park entrance. By 1935 they constructed a house and lived here year-round, and they soon realized their lake was popular with swimmers. To discourage visitors, they started charging 10 cents per visit, but this only attracted more people. To accommodate the new business, they created the current 13-acre lake in 1937 and named the place Renner Park.

John Renner, an engineer who built many homes in Akron’s Goodyear Heights area, also tried raising pigs on the southeast side of the lake. Price restrictions enacted during World War II made his farming venture unprofitable.

In 2007, Metro Parks acquired the adjacent 287-acre former County Home property, bringing this park to its current 509 acres. Today, the sandy, acidic soils of Munroe Falls Metro Park permit the growth of flora that is typically uncommon in Summit County. Blueberries, shiny club moss, ground pine, and a colony of Ohio hair cap moss flourish here. Trees include black gum, sassafras, and tulip. Beavers, frogs, turtles, salamanders, and crayfish are seen in both Beaver and Heron Ponds.