Oberlin Reservoir

Tips for Birding

Climb the stairs to view the reservoir, taking care to emerge into the open stealthily to avoid spooking birds. A scope is very helpful here. There are nearly always flocks of waterfowl in season, along with gulls, and there have been reports of interesting species such as long-tailed ducks and lesser black-backed gulls in recent years.

The reservoir can be reached from Oberlin going east on Parsons Road, or from US-20 at the exit for Parsons. Proceed east on Parsons about half a mile, just past West Road and the water service buildings, and turn south (right) into a parking lot at the foot of the embankment.

Parking is at the base of the stairs leading up to the reservoir.

A spotting scope is almost always necessary.

The Oberlin Reservoir is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.

About this Location

43.6 acres of water for fishing with an adjacent picnic and sledding area.

Parsons Road Reservoir is number 38 on the Lake Erie Birding Trail. From late fall until the reservoir freezes, huge numbers of gulls, ducks, and geese often congregate. Their ranks can include nearly every species of regularly occurring diving ducks, as well as many species of dabbling ducks. Hundreds of Ruddy Ducks and American Coots often gather.

Fishing is permitted at Parsons Road Reservoir, but you must have a valid Ohio fishing license. Boats with electric motors only are permitted at the Reservoir. Swimming is not permitted at the reservoir.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Official Website and Ohio Ornithological Society