Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati

Tips for Birding

The area open to the public is about 450 acres. Areas off limits are clearly posted. Most of the cemetery has mature trees, with an understory of ornamental shrubs and lawn (it’s a cemetery!). There are several small lakes. There is a mature woodlot, with a more natural understory, of about 10 acres in the center of the cemetery; and the northern portion of the cemetery is mature woods (this area is not open to the public, but you can walk along the edge of it). The cemetery section numbers are well marked, but the many winding roads are not. You should definitely download the map from their website. A good general strategy is to park near the central woodlot and work your way out from there as time allows. If you don’t have the map, you can find the woodlot by following the white line that runs from the entrance through the center of the cemetery. The northern portion of the cemetery is more open and is the best spot to look for winter Merlins.

In Cincinnati. From I-75, take the Mitchell Avenue exit (Exit 6) west. At 0.4 miles, turn left onto Spring Grove Avenue. The cemetery entrance is on the right, at 0.5 miles.

Open 8 am – 6 pm daily.

You can park anywhere in the cemetery along the roadsides.

From Cincinnati Audubon website

About this Location

In 1845, members of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society created The Cemetery of Spring Grove with the hopes “that the natural setting would be a contemplative atmosphere conducive to consolation, commemoration, and education.” More than 160 years later, the marvelous grounds of Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum would undoubtedly exceed what the founding fathers intended.

What began as a 200-acre tract of farmland is now a unique 733-acre combination cemetery, park, outdoor museum, and arboretum that welcomes visitors and guests to experience over 44 miles of winding roads, 15 serene lakes, a 10-acre woodland preserve, and an amazing collection of architecture, sculpture, and horticulture.

Serving as a living horticultural laboratory, Spring Grove’s Arboretum boasts a remarkable 1,200 species with over 1,000 labeled for study and research purposes for universities, nurseries, and growers. The Arboretum is dedicated to the protection and stewardship of the cemetery’s heritage and to the promotion of environmental sustainability while increasing the beauty of the garden.

Visitors may also enjoy over 140 labeled trees and shrubs at another beautifully maintained historic property founded in 1910, Oak Hill Cemetery. Managed by Spring Grove since 1989, Oak Hill is located in the quaint village of Glendale, Ohio.

Restrooms available at the office, near the front of the cemetery.

Notable Trails

Merlins have been found repeatedly every winter in recent years. Late afternoon seems to be best. The extensive evergreen plantings, found throughout the cemetery, are good for Red-breasted Nuthatch and Pine Siskin, at least during years when they are anywhere in the area. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is also fairly common. Red and White-winged Crossbill are rare, but this is one of the best local spots to look for them.
This is a great spot to look for migrant passerines. Since it’s surrounded by heavily urbanized areas, it acts as a migrant trap.
Nothing special. The Mute Swans are not wild.
As in the spring, it’s a very good passerine migrant trap.

Roadside accessible.

Restrooms on site.

Content from Spring Grove Cemetery website and Ohio Ornithological Society