Wellington Upground Reservoir

Tips for Birding

Wellington Wildlife Area consists of 200 acres plus 182 acres of water; this includes the lower reservoir with 64 acres and the upground reservoir with 78 acres. The upground reservoir, which usually provides the most productive birding, is reached by taking 58 south from Wellington, turning west onto Jones Rd., then turning right onto the paved road leading to the parking lot. A drive to the top of the hill is provided for boat launches, fishing, and handicapped parking.

Birding at Wellington in spring and fall is very rewarding. Many species use this reservoir as a stopping point during migration. Great numbers of American Coots, Ruddy Ducks, and Scaups occur regularly, as well as lesser numbers of Grebes, Loons, Gulls, Geese and other waterfowl. There is always the possibility of a Long-tailed Duck. Large numbers of Turkey Vultures perch on the poles and wires during wet weather. A spotting scope is necessary for good viewing and a good tripod is a must since is often very windy at this site. The lower reservoir, just a few yards west of the entrance to the upground reservoir, is very unproductive by comparison.

About 1.5 miles southwest of Wellington, Ohio. About 20 miles west of Medina, Ohio.

Open all year during daylight hours.

Upground Reservoir-a large paved parking area at the foot of the hill, limited parking at the hilltop for handicapped.

Dress warmly in layers during all seasons except summer. The wind sweeping across the reservoir can be very frigid.

Wellington Upground Reservoir is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.

About this Location

A spotting scope is especially helpful at this reservoir. There is parking for handicapped placarded vehicles at top of the drive to the boat ramp. You can observe birds from the boat ramp with a scope. The 2-mile walking trail around the reservoir can provide closer views of birds.

Except for handicapped vehicles, parking is not permitted at the boat launch. Park in the lot below and walk up the stairs. Local police do sometimes visit and will ask people to move their cars from the boat ramp area.

Note that the entrance road to the reservoir is on Jones Road west of the roads to the housing development. Directions from Google Maps sometimes incorrectly lead you into the housing development.

No restroom facilities. There are restrooms at the Wellington Reservation across Jones Road.
Handicap parking at the boat ramp at the top of the drive.


  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Roadside viewing

  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

Content from Ohio Ornithological Society and Ken Ostermiller