Washington 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.

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

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

Boord State Nature Preserve

254 Falls Run Road Cutler, Ohio 45724

Boord State Nature Preserve is located 4.5 miles east of Bartlett, follow OH-550 to County Road 6. Proceed .75 mile south on County Road 6 to Township Road 69. The signed preserve is .5 mile west on Township Road 69.

The Boord State Nature Preserve contains one of the best examples of a hemlock ravine in Washington County and the surrounding area. The preserve’s state-listed species include rock skullcap, narrow-leaved toothwort, and golden-knees.

Falls Run cuts through a massive layer of Permian-age sandstone to form the heart of this preserve which is an eastern hemlock-shrouded stream gorge 60-80 feet deep. Numerous scenic cliffs and overhangs occur along this ravine.

Veto Lake Wildlife Area

Lake Road Belpre, Ohio 45714

From Boord State Nature Preserve, drive northeast on Township Road 69 for .3 mile. Turn left onto Burnett Road (County Road 6) and go .6 miles. Turn right onto OH-550 east and drive 4.2 miles. Turn right onto OH-339 south and go 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Rocky Point Road and drive .7 miles. Turn right onto Lake Road. Arrive at Veto Lake in 2 miles.

The area features parking, a boat ramp, a picnic pavilion, pit toilets, and an archery range. While the Division of Wildlife owns the shorelines of the lake itself, the northwest and southwest areas above the shorelines are completely subdivided into housing lots. The eastern side of the lake is bordered by Lake Road. There are no developed trails around the lake.

Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area

619 OH-821 Marietta, Ohio 45750

From Veto Lake, drive south on Lake Road for 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Veto Road and drive 6.3 miles. Turn left onto OH-7 and drive 7.7 miles. Turn left onto Third Street and go .6 miles. Continue onto OH-60 and drive 1.5 miles. Turn right on OH-821 and arrive at Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area in .9 miles.

The Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area is a part of the Broughton Foundation, a tax-exempt non-profit organized in 1991 by Carl and Elizabeth Broughton. The wildlife area contains more than 500 acres of land and is available for wildlife and environmental study by groups and individuals. It is an educational area with several trails, two ponds, a natural stream, waterfall and several areas of undisturbed nature located about one mile from Marietta. The site is easily accessible from I-77, OH-60, and OH-821 and has public parking areas.

Kroger Wetlands

80 Acme Street Marietta, Ohio 45750

From Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area, drive west on OH-821 for .8 miles. Turn left onto OH-60 south and drive .7 miles. Turn left onto Colegate Drive and go 2.6 miles. Turn left onto Green Street for .2 miles. Turn right onto Acme Street. Arrive at Kroger Wetlands in .4 miles.

Visit this 14.5-acre wetland, behind Kroger in Marietta. Kroger Wetlands contains a 1-mile walking trail with a footbridge. A kiosk in the parking lot has information about the many species of birds and plants that can be found and a map of the walking trail. The wetlands are open year round dawn to dark.

Wayne National Forest--Newell Run Mouth

Newport, Ohio 45768

From Kroger Wetland, drive southwest on Acme Street for .2 miles. Turn left on OH-7 and continue to follow OH-7 for 11.8 miles. Arrive at Newell Run Mouth.

Newell Run is a backwater of the Ohio River. The backwater is maybe 8 acres. The blacktop road runs around three sides of the backwater and crosses two bridges.

Heading south (backwater on your left) you can pull off as far as possible to the side of the road and scan. There is little to moderate traffic on this road, so pull off as far as possible. Heading south (backwater on your left) the first bridge is over Newell Run just past the church you see on the hill in front and to your right. There are two pull-offs after the bridge over the run (on your left). At this area, you can scan up the creek and out over the backwater.

Another .25 mile brings you to the second bridge over a small drainage area. You can stop on the bridge and scan both directions. The above caution about traffic and pulling to the side as far as possible holds here as well.

The backwater can be viewed from several locations along the perimeter road. The OH-7 bridge crosses the outfall to the Ohio River. Scanning under the bridge out to the river can be good.

From the northeast end of the perimeter road (where it joins OH-7) you can see Broadback island in the Ohio River. While this Island is in West Virginia, it is a good place to scan for Osprey (spring, summer, fall) and Bald Eagles (fall, winter, early spring). The Ohio River at the head of the island can be scanned from a pull-off in front of the produce buildings just before the road turns off of OH-7.

The wooded hillsides around the backwater and the brushy lower areas often hold woodland/brush birds.

If you take Newell Run Road back along the creek, (A right turn just past the church when southbound, or a left turn just before the church northbound.) There are opportunities to bird fields, woods, and rural yards. This area is particularly good in spring. Three to five miles back the road will cover just about all the habitats. This is a blacktop road.

Three additional hotspots in this section of Wayne National Forest are also nearby. Explore them if time permits.
Wayne National Forest–Kinderhook Trail
Wayne National Forest–Leith Run Recreation Area
Willow Island Lock and Dam (Ohio)