Shelby 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.

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

Shelby County is one of Ohio’s “under-birded” counties (fewer than 1000 eBird checklists). 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.

Gross Woods State Nature Preserve

Botkins Road Jackson Center, Ohio 45334

Gross Woods State Nature Preserve is located in Shelby County, 6 miles east of I-75 (Botkins exit) and approximately 3.5 miles north of Jackson Center on Botkins Road.

There are a trail and boardwalk in the nature preserve. These mature woods provide good bird habitat year round. In the spring there is a display of wildflowers.

The woods are characterized by a diversity of tree species, with no one type being dominant. Large bur oaks and basswood occur in the wettest areas, with shagbark hickory, white and red oaks, black walnut, beech, and sugar maple on the slightly drier ground. The rare pumpkin ash is also present here.

Tawawa Park

12 Tawawa Drive Sidney, Ohio 45365

From Gross Woods, head east on Botkins Road for 1.1 miles. Turn right onto OH-65 south and follow OH-65 for 8.2 miles. Turn right onto OH-47 west and go 7.4 miles. Turn left on Tawawa Drive. Tawawa Park entrance is in .2 miles.

Tawawa Park is a good place to look for Yellow-throated Warblers during migration. The Park consists of 220 wooded acres which provide shelters, grounds, and areas to play ball. Two lakes (Tawawa and Amos) are located in the complex.

This park is being preserved to retain a rustic nature. Wildlife is protected. The William Ross Covered Bridge dedicated in 1971 is picturesque and has been the object of much photography. It closely resembles several covered bridges constructed in Central Ohio by pioneer bridge designer and builder, Rueben L. Partridge (1823-1900). The parks were named after Tawawa Creek which runs through the grounds. “Big Rock” (glacial rock left from the ice age) located in the park was established in 1876 and is of interest to visitors. Whipp Road was formerly the path of the East-West railroad through Sidney.

Lake Loramie SP

4401 Fort Loramie Swanders Road Minster, Ohio 45865

The next three stops are in clustered together in or near Lake Loramie State Park. From Tawawa Park, go west on Tawawa Drive. Turn left onto Riverside which then turns right and becomes East North Street. Go .4 miles and turn right onto North Main Avenue. Turn left onto Pike Street and then turn right onto OH-29. Follow OH-29 west for 5.7 miles. Turn left onto Fort Loramie-Swanders Road and drive 6.7 miles to the Lake Loramie State Park entrance.

The park’s campground supports a colony of the unique bald cypress tree as well as a plantation of sweet gum dating back to the early 1950s. Waterfowl, including Canada geese, frequent the park along with various songbirds and small mammals. Wildflowers flourish in the forests and fields.

On the lake, waterlily, cattail and a beautiful display of American lotus enhance the view. A trail leading to Blackberry Island will treat visitors to glimpses of nesting red-headed woodpeckers and barred owls. The park’s meadows support a large population of eastern bluebirds.

Lake Loramie SP--Little Turtle Trace

Minster, Ohio 45865

Parking for the Little Turtle Trace area of Lake Loramie State Park is on Fort Loramie Swanders Road.

Over 100 bird species have been reported along the trails in this section of the state park.

Miami-Erie Trail--Lake Loramie

Fort Loramie, Ohio 45845

There is a paved parking area 300 yards west of the spillway on OH-362 for 2-3 cars. This is a convenient place to park when birding this section of the trail.

The trail starts at the State Park office and travels along OH-362. It then runs along Loramie creek to the canal feeder channel and to the canal. It is also part of the Buckeye Trail. Start just west of Lake Loramie”s Spillway and follow it to the canal. The sign for the trail reads Miami-Erie / Buckeye trail.
From Louis Hoying