From the intersection with OH-2, take OH-58 north till it dead ends at US-6. Take US-6 east about two miles to the harbor area. See the site descriptions below for more detailed directions to each site.
Lakeview Park – From OH-58, take US-6 east approximately one mile to Lakeview Park. The entrance to this park is marked by a large purple/yellow Easter basket. This area is worth checking for water birds on the lake and gulls on the beach. The park itself may be worth checking for migrating songbirds.
Lorain Municipal Pier – This is the area often referred to as the “hot waters”. To reach this area take SR 6 east approximately .5 mile from Lakeview Park and turn left on Oberlin Avenue. Take Oberlin Avenue north to the pier area. Despite being called the hot waters, hot water is no longer discharged into the lake from the power plant. This area is still good for observing waterfowl and ducks in the fall, winter, and spring when the harbor is open. Check the breakwalls and the surrounding area for snowy owls during flight years.
East Harbor Areas – To reach this area take US-6 east another .5 mile and cross over the Black River bridge. Turn left at the first intersection allowing turns (the first two are no turn). After turning left, proceed north until the road ends and either proceed east to the pier and impoundment or west to the river and harbor areas. In the pier area you can park and then walk out the pier to check for ducks and gulls. Walking the pier allows viewing of the boat basin and the impoundment for songbirds and, if habitat is present, for shorebirds.
Heading west to the river area you can check the river and boat basin for ducks and gulls. The far east end boat launch parking lot gives an elevated viewing spot for looking over the harbor.
The city of Lorain’s nearly 2-acre Public Boat Ramp provides six ramps and three parking lots for direct Lake Erie boating access. Entrance to the site is north of the Oberlin Avenue and First Street intersection with one-way traffic directed to exit on the drive and parking lot along First Street near the Hamilton Avenue intersections
This site is Lorain’s oldest boat launch and is locally known as “Hot Waters” because of its location between a power plant warm water discharge on the west and the former ore docks to the east (now the Lorain Public Fishing Pier access site).
Fishing access is provided around the perimeter of the on-water asphalt parking lot which has car-trailer and car-only parking. A second gravel lot is just east of the launch ramps and a third asphalt lot is about 100 years south of the launch.
The Public Boat Ramp is a city of Lorain adopt-a-spot location adopted by the Polish Fisherman’s Club.
Lorain Harbor is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
Waterfowl and gulls are good when the area is not frozen. It is a good area for Snowy Owl during invasion years.
The entire harbor area is good for water birds and some songbird migration can be viewed.
If the habitat is present, shorebirds can be found. Otherwise, the area is heavily utilized for recreational activities.
Waterfowl and gulls can be good in the fall. The area is used heavily by duck hunters, so plan accordingly.
Lorain Harbor reaches its peak as a birding hotspot from November until the ice-up of the harbor and adjacent Lake Erie, which usually occurs in late December or January. Thousands of Bonaparte’s Gulls mass in the harbor, often accompanied by much rarer gulls. Likewise, scores of Ring-billed and Herring gulls gather. Good numbers of waterfowl often loaf in the harbor and staggering numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers can be seen passing by on Lake Erie.
The spoil impoundment just east of the harbor’s east pier can be good for songbirds in migration. The willows lure many species of warblers, flycatchers, and other species, and oddities such as Barn Owl can even turn up. The dense stands of giant reed (Phragmites) and smartweeds sometimes host large numbers of sparrows of several species in October. Conditions change from year to year, but if mudflats are present nearly every regularly occurring species of shorebird can turn up.
The city of Lorain’s nearly 2-acre Public Boat Ramp provides six ramps and three parking lots for direct Lake Erie boating access. The entrance to the site is north of the Oberlin Avenue and First Street intersection with one-way traffic directed to exit on the drive and parking lot along First Street near the Hamilton Avenue intersection.
This site is Lorain’s oldest boat launch and is locally known as “Hot Waters” because of its location between a power plant’s warm water discharge on the west and the former ore docks to the east (now the Lorain Public Fishing Pier access site).
Restrooms at Boat Ramp (during boating season) and Black River Landing (portable toilets).
Content from Ohio Ornithological Society, Ken Andrews, and Lake Erie Birding Trail