Seneca 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.

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

Seneca County has a number of good birding locations which have not been heavily birded. Much of the county is in agricultural fields. This birding drive visits locations around Tiffin which give an introduction to birding in the county. The first six are good examples of “under-birded” locations in Ohio, which deserve more attention from Ohio birders. The drive ends at the Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve, the birding site with the most bird species reported in the county.

Clinton Nature Preserve

375 East Township Road 132 Tiffin, Ohio 44883

From Tiffin, drive northeast on OH-53 for 2 miles. Turn right onto Township Road 132 and arrive at Clinton Nature Preserve in .4 miles.

The Clinton Nature Preserve is a 33-acre preserve located just west of the Sandusky River in Seneca County. There is a 1.25-mile stone walking and bicycling trail which extends to about 1.75 miles when connected to the Schekelhoff trail with several access points to the river. The trail winds through riparian woodland. The parking lot offers a canoe access point. There is fishing access to the river at the Miller fishing hole. A separate trail runs thru the open grassland area and this is a perfect area for enjoying the abundant wildlife and variety of wildflowers. Picnic tables are available at the nature preserve.

Just over 100 species of birds have been reported at this park. The list will grow as more birders visit and submit checklists throughout the year.

Steyer Nature Preserve

5901 North County Road 33 Tiffin, Ohio 44883

From the Clinton Nature Preserve, drive west on Township Road 132 for .4 mile. Turn right onto OH-53 north and drive 4 miles. Turn right onto Township Road 152 and drive 1.1. miles. Turn right onto County Road 33 and arrive at Steyer Nature Preserve in .1 mile.

Steyer Nature Preserve is located east of Fort Seneca on the Sandusky River. There are more than four miles of trails with eight bridges overlooking scenic ravines. 71 acres of non-hunting area is reserved for hiking. In addition, there are 70 acres of hunting area (in season) which connects with Sugar Creek State Wildlife Area with hunter access and parking off Township Road148. Abbott’s Bridge Scenic River Access is nearby at the parking lot off County Road 33. The nature preserve is on a riparian corridor which offers wildflowers in season and wildlife watching and birding throughout the year. There are picnic tables available at the preserve.

This nature preserve is a birding location where the birding list should increase as birders visit it in more seasons.

Beaver Creek Reservoir

Township Road 196 Green Springs, OH 44836

From Steyer Nature Preserve, drive north on County Road 33 for .1 mile. Turn right onto Township Road 145 and drive .5 mile. Make a slight left onto County Road 33 and drive 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Township Road 73 and drive .4 mile. Turn right onto County Road 51 and drive 1 mile. Continue straight onto County Road 34 and drive 5.7 miles. Arrive at Beaver Creek Reservoir.

Beaver Creek Reservoir is located in Northeastern Seneca County on Township Road 196, just off of OH-101. It is about 5 miles southwest of Clyde. Beaver Creek Reservoir is an upground reservoir owned by the city of Clyde; water is supplied to the reservoir by a pump station located on Beaver Creek, just south of the reservoir.

A boat ramp and parking may be accessed from the east side of the reservoir on Township Road 196.

This reservoir attracts ducks and geese during migration, can have ducks in the winter when it remains open water and has a nice mix of birds year round. The birding list for this reservoir should increase as it is birded throughout the year.

Proving Ground Farm

(formerly named Miller Conservation Farm) 5670 East Township Road 138 Tiffin, Ohio 44883

From Beaver Creek Reservoir, drive east on County Road 34 for .3 mile. Turn right onto Township Road 196 and go .6 mile. Turn right onto OH-101 west and drive 2.7 miles. Turn left onto Country Road 43 and drive 1.6 miles. Turn right onto Township Road 138 and arrive at Proving Ground Farm in .4 mile.

Over 100 species have been reported on checklists at this site, through the efforts of a few birders. The list should grow as additional birders visit the Conservation Farm and help to fill out the observations throughout the year.

The late Maynard P. and Gladys Mae Stonebraker donated their 80-acre farm to Heidelberg College. The farm was requested to be kept as a memorial to Sidney and Deloria Miller. The Miller’s opened their home during the early 1900s to three orphaned children: Jay Erb, Naomi Monroe, and Maynard Stonebraker. Maynard also set forth in his will that the Farm be “maintained and preserved as a natural setting with an emphasis on conservation and preservation of trees and wildlife.”

Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve

6777 South OH-19 Bloomville, Ohio 44818

From Proving Ground Farm, drive east on Township Road 138 for .4 mile. Turn right onto Country Road 43 and drive 1 mile. Turn left onto County Road 38 and drive 2 miles. Turn right onto OH-19 south and drive 9.9 miles. Arrive at Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve.

Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve was created in 1997 when Alma and Dolly Garlo initiated the gifting of 256 acres of their family farm to the newly formed Seneca County Park District. The park is a living legacy in memory of doctors Olgierd and Maria Garlo and their son Alex. Olgierd and Maria immigrated from Communist Eastern Europe in 1948 and began acquiring this land in 1961. The preserve is located two miles south of Bloomville, Ohio, on OH-19.

The nature preserve is now 302 acres, including a 37-acre shallow lake, three 1 acre ponds, 35 acres of additional wetlands, and woodlands and grasslands. There are 2.4 miles of hiking trails, 4.7 miles of equestrian trails, and a wheelchair accessible walkway and boardwalk with observation decks. The nature center has a Bluebird trail and butterfly garden. There are picnic tables available at the nature preserve.

This is another “under birded” location in Seneca County. 125 bird species have been reported here by a few birders visiting mostly in the spring and summer.

Collier State Nature Preserve

Mexico, Ohio 44882

From Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve, drive south on OH-19 for .2 mile. Turn right onto Country Road 6 and drive 7.4 miles. Turn left to stay on County Road 6 for 1 mile. Turn left onto OH-231 south and drive 1 mile. Turn right onto Township Road 28 and drive 2.1 miles. Turn right onto Township Road 38 and drive .4 mile. Turn right and arrive at Collier State Nature Preserve in .2 mile.

Located approximately 3 miles northeast of McCutchenville at the southwestern edge of Seneca County. From McCutchenville, proceed 3 miles east on County Road 58, then .5 mile north on Township Road 131, and .25 mile east on Township Road 38.

This natural area, located on the Sandusky State Scenic River, was originally acquired as a Scenic River area. In addition to the large wooded riverine corridor, with an excellent floodplain community containing large oaks, sycamore, ash, tulip, and cottonwoods, the area also has an impressive amount of relief.

The trail follows the ridge top and then drops dramatically over the hillside to the floodplain of the Sandusky River. These woods contain numerous large beech trees as well as a spectacular diversity of spring wildflowers including sharp-lobed hepatica, Dutchman’s breeches, squirrel corn, three trillium species, twinleaf, white and yellow trout-lily, and marsh marigold.

The display of marsh marigolds and skunk cabbage found in the floodplain is particularly striking in early May.

Just over 100 bird species have been reported at this nature preserve, but the number should increase as more birders visit in all four seasons of the year.

Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve

Township Road 24 (Muck Road) Carey, Ohio 43316

From Collier State Nature Preserve, turn right onto Township Road 38, then turn left onto Township Road 131 and drive .8 mile. continue straight onto County Road 58 and drive 2.8 miles. Turn left onto OH-53 and go .2 mile. Turn right onto OH-587 north and drive .9 mile. Turn left onto County Road 59 and drive 6.1 miles. Turn left onto US-23 south and go .2 mile. Turn right onto Muck Road and arrive at Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve in .9 mile.

Located in Seneca County 3,5 miles north of Carey on US-23 and OH-199; proceed 1 mile west on Township Road 24 (Muck Road) to the preserve parking lot. This last stop on the Seneca County Birding Drive has 220 bird species reported, the most of any location in Seneca County, and has been visited in all seasons.

Visitors to Springville Marsh State Nature Preserve have a unique opportunity to observe and study the beauty of nature and to reflect on the past. Three factors have had a marked effect on this resource. First, abundant groundwater, which has surfaced as many cool, calcium-rich springs, continues to nourish the special plant life found here. Also, many Ice Age plant species and others that are newcomers, provide this preserve with a remarkable and diverse inventory of flowering plants. Third, the uniqueness of the marsh has survived despite past agricultural and industrial disruption.

Springville Marsh is an unequaled nature preserve in northwestern Ohio. It is the largest inland wetland in this part of the state. The preserve is notable for several reasons. Growing within the preserve are several Canadian and Atlantic coastal plain species, which became established here shortly after the Ice Age. Some of these plants are threatened and endangered species in Ohio. Fen orchids, bottle gentian, Kalm’s lobelia, and little yellow sedge can be seen along the boardwalk. One of Ohio’s largest populations of twig-rush, a typical Atlantic coastal plain species, is located throughout the preserve. There are also smaller areas of more northern plants, such as Ohio goldenrod, grass-of-Parnassus, and shrubby cinquefoil. The sedge meadows, shrubby thickets, and vast areas of cattail marsh provide excellent opportunities to observe wildlife.