Mercer 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.

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

Mercer 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.

Westview Park

Fairground Road Celina, Ohio 45822

From US-127, turn west onto Summit Street and drive .5 mile. Continue straight onto Fairground Road for .4 mile. Turn left at Jessica Lane into Westview Park. The park may also be entered from the intersection of Jill Avenue and Hierholzer Street.

This 51-acre park has a 2-acre pond, a nature preserve with 15.6 acres, and a walking path.

Eastview Park

Grand Lake Road Celina, Ohio 45822

From Westview Park, take Fairground Road east for about 1 mile. Fairground Road becomes Summit Street and then Meyers Road. Turn right onto Grand Lake Road and drive .5 mile to Eastview Park.

Eastview Park is located on Grand Lake Road. The park may also be entered from the end of East Livingston Street.

This 51-acre park has an 11-acre pond with a beach area and a walking path.

Grand Lake Saint Marys SP--Spillway

Saint Marys, Ohio 45885

From Eastview Park, take East Livingston Street to Grand Lake Road. Follow East Market Street to Lake Shore Drive. Turn Left on Lakeshore Drive. Turn left onto South Main Street. Turn left onto Bank Road (OH-703).

The spillway empties into Beaver Creek. There is parking on the west side of Bank Road opposite the spillway. This vantage point provides a view of birds on Grand Lake Saint Marys.

Grand Lake Saint Marys lies along one of the country’s major migration routes. Waterbirds using the lake as a resting stop include Canada geese, ducks, grebes, swans, egrets, loons, herons, cormorants, and ospreys. Many ducks, geese, and heron also nest here. Bald eagles, magnificent birds long absent from the area, have again nested on the southwest corner of the lake at the wildlife refuge. Other animals of the park include fox squirrel, mink, raccoon, beaver, coyote, white-tailed deer and many others.

Grand Lake Saint Marys SP--West Bank Picnic Area

Saint Marys, Ohio 45885

The West Bank Picnic Area is about 1 miles south of the spillway on Bank Road (OH-703).

There is parking in several lots along Band Road for this picnic area and a trail along the shore of Grand Lake Saint Marys. There are views of birds on the lake and the picnic area attracts a variety of woodland birds.

Mercer Wildlife Area

Celina, Ohio 45822

From the West Bank Picnic Area, go north on OH-703 toward Monroe Road. Turn left onto Monroe Road. Turn left at the first cross street onto US-127 south and drive 2 miles. Turn left onto OH-703. In .4 miles turn left and drive the road through the Mercer Wildlife Area.

This 1,408-acre wildlife area lies in the grain farming country of west central Ohio, three miles south of Celina. It is bounded by US-127 on the west and It’s It Township Road on the east; it extends approximately one-half mile south of OH-703.

Mercer Wildlife Area is quite flat on the north side of the area bordering Grand Lake Saint Marys. It is more rolling south of OH-703. Approximately one-fourth of the wildlife area is in cropland and meadow. There are seven ponds (not shown on the map) totaling more than seven acres; the shallow bays of Grand Lake Saint Marys make up the remainder of the area. Approximately 1,050 acres of water in the southwest corner of the 13,500-acre Lake Saint Marys are managed for waterfowl through a cooperative agreement with the Division of Parks and Recreation.

Grand Lake Saint Marys SP--Montezuma Boat Ramp

Saint Marys, Ohio 45885

From Mercer Wildlife Area, return to OH-703. Turn left and drive about 1 mile east to the Montezuma Boat Ramp.

The Montezuma Boat Ramp is located at the end of North Canal Street in Montezuma.

Grand Lake Saint Marys SP--Windy Point

Saint Marys, Ohio 45885

From the Montezuma Boat Ramp, head southeast on OH-703 toward North Canal Street. Turn left onto OH-219 and drive 1.3 miles. Continue straight onto Windy Point Road. Windy Point is at the end of this road.

There is a boat ramp and fishing pier at Windy Point. There are views of birds on Grand Lake Saint Marys.

Franklin Township Nature Park

Celina, Ohio 45822

From Windy Point, return to OH-219 by driving south on Windy Point Road. Turn left onto OH-219 east. In .5 miles turn left onto Karafit Road. In .5 miles turn right onto Cottonwood Road to the Franklin Township Nature Park.

The Franklin Township Greenspace Committee maintains this nature park and 7.5 miles of trails.

Prairie Creek Treatment Train

Celina, Ohio 45822

From the Franklin Township Nature Park, head west on Cottonwood Road. Cottonwood Road turns left and becomes Karafit Road. Turn left onto OH-219 east. Drive 1 mile on OH-291 to the Prairie Creek Treatment Train.

The Prairie Creek Treatment Train combines wetlands and water dosing to filter runoff from the watershed before it enters Grand Lake St. Marys. Water is lifted from Prairie Creek before it enters Grand Lake. The water is treated with Alum then released into former farmlands that have been repurposed as wetlands. The water settles in the wetland where it is naturally filtered prior to entering the open water of the lake.