Mosquito Lake State Park

Tips for Birding

The state park covers the southern half of Mosquito Lake (south of Denman Road). The main attraction is waterfowl during fall through spring (depending on ice), which are best observed off the causeway or at the southern end near the dam. Keep an eye out for Long-tailed Ducks, scoters, Red-throated Loons, and unusual grebes. The woodlot immediately west of the dam hosts Red-headed Woodpeckers year-round. Although most birders spend the majority of their time birding the north end of the lake within the Wildlife Area, many rarities are found at the south end including Western Grebe and Brant.

From Cortland, head southwest out of town on OH-305. After driving across the Mosquito Lake dam, take the next right to the main entrance of the park.

Birds of Interest

When there’s open water, waterfowl numbers can be good. Snow Buntings are annual on the causeway (OH-88). Bald Eagles.
Spring migrants.
Red-headed Woodpeckers, Purple Martins, and other common breeding species. Bald Eagles.

About this Location

Before Ohio was settled, the banks of Mosquito Creek were hidden by a vast forest that covered most of the state. Little remains of the ancient forest that stood for nearly 10,000 years. In the Mosquito Lake area, regrowth has occurred and the nice stands of beech-maple woodlands can be enjoyed. In pioneer times, the beech-maple belt was very extensive and stretched from Mansfield to Pennsylvania. The reason is that this area has more cloudy days, cooler summer temperatures, and more winter snow cover as compared to the rest of Ohio.

The park’s woodlands support colonies of spring beauties, anemones, Dutchman’s breeches, purple cresses, and other spring wildflowers. Goldenrod and asters will bloom in the fall in the park’s open areas. Many wildlife species find the park’s varied habitats suitable. Red fox, woodchuck, muskrat, beaver, fox squirrel, raccoon, rabbit, and white-tailed deer are common. Recently, river otters were reintroduced in nearby favorable locations. Several otter families have been sighted.

Many birds live in or migrate through the area including robins, warblers, swallows, and sparrows. The yellow-bellied sapsucker and hairy woodpecker are uncommon in other parts of Ohio but abundant in this part of the state. Numerous species of waterfowl and shorebirds take advantage of the park’s many wetlands during spring and fall migrations. Canada geese, herons, tundra swans, great egrets, and a variety of ducks can be observed. Large predatory birds including several species of hawks and the magnificent bald and golden eagles have been spotted here.

Notable Trails

Mosquito Lake State Park Trails
Four hiking trails allow visitors to explore the park’s woodlands and scenic shoreline. More than 8 miles of bridle trails give equestrian access to the park’s interior. Snowmobilers have access 13 miles of wooded trails. Mountain biking is permitted on all multiple-use trails.

The Bridle Trail is on the west side of the lake.

The Turkey Run Trail is on the east side of the lake.


  • Restrooms on site

Content from Ohio Ornithological Society and Mosquito Lake State Park webpage