6100 US-224 Findlay, Ohio 45840Official Website
This time of year I make many quick stops daily in my county, but I definitely have a few fall favorites in Hancock County where I can spend hiking most of the day. One of them for arriving Sparrows and migrating Warblers is Litzenberg Memorial Woods. The entire park is 227 acres including the north and south sides of the road with various habitats of deep ravines, old-growth woods, creek and river bank, wetlands, expansive grasslands, and a monitored bluebird area.
The more familiar section is on the north side of US-224 with the historic McKinniss Homestead with gorgeous barns and period garden as well as a scenic, accessible walkway into the woods. Long-eared, Great Horned, Barred and Screech owls have been seen there.
On the South property, the grassland is much larger, wilder, and seemingly uncontrolled the nearer you get to the Blanchard River. Understandably the often-flooded river area makes it difficult to “develop and manage” into a modernized park, which is great for wildlife and birding. I love the wildness and ever-changing landscape that our river carves out! I was there on October 1, and as I walked the wooded horse trails with many lingering wildflowers along the trail and fall colors popping I stumbled into a busy pocket of birds including Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, and Palm Warblers chasing around. There were also heated exchanges with Black-capped Chickadees (we’re in the overlap zone with Carolina Chickadees too) and White and Red-breasted Nuthatches. There have been several times in the deep woods that I’ve found Barred Owls and nesting Wild Turkeys, once watched a Great-horned Owl take a Northern Flicker in mid-flight, and in one of the wetland ponds, I watched Sandhill Cranes taking off. The large grassland on the South side of the road has been a hot spot for most of the Ohio sparrows including Nelson’s, Lincoln’s, and Grasshopper Sparrows. With 185 species found since the first eBird report in 1973, it’s got much to offer birders in all seasons but is most spectacular in its fall glory.
Litzenberg Memorial Woods, a renewable forest, 227 acres located fives miles downstream west from Findlay along the Blanchard River. Many scenic surprises await visitors to this natural, historic park. The rolling countryside in the Blanchard River Valley, wooded ravines, and vistas that haven’t changed for over a century make this park area one of the most beautiful places within the Hancock Parks system.
Restrooms on site
Content from Official Website and Amy Downing, Ohio Ornithological Society