Brecksville, Ohio 44141Official Website
Also, see all the hotspots at:
Cuyahoga Valley National Park-Lower Cuyahoga River Important Bird Area
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Birding Drive
For birders who maintain county lists, please note that the Station Road area is in both Cuyahoga and Summit Counties. The Cuyahoga River, which runs north-south here, is the boundary line between counties. West of the river, including the parking lot, railroad station, and the marshy area south, is Cuyahoga County. East of the river, after crossing the white iron bridge (see photo), is Summit County.
Birders should start a new eBird checklist when crossing the bridge in either direction.
Regarded as one of the top birding locations in northern Ohio, the Station Road Bridge trailhead is shared by Cleveland Metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The canal and the Cuyahoga River wind along the riparian valley, as does the scenic railroad.
The main all-purpose Towpath Trail running along the east side of the river is by far the easiest access through the park. Enormous Eastern Sycamores and cottonwoods line the river, and a steep wooded hillside meets the Towpath Trail in a marshy riparian lowland along the canal.
White-tailed Deer, Fox and Eastern Gray Squirrels, Raccoon, Muskrat, Beaver, and Mink can be found along the Hike and Bike trail. Snapping and Eastern Painted Turtles are abundant, as are Green and Bullfrogs, Gray Treefrogs, Spring Peepers, and Northern Water Snakes.
Nesting Great Horned and Screech Owls, Cerulean and other migrant warblers, plus most species of woodpeckers, including Red-headed, Bald Eagles, Blue Herons and so much more.
During Spring migration, upwards of 21 species of warblers have been recorded along the trail and railroad in a single day, along with hordes of thrushes, vireos, flycatchers, kinglets, sparrows, and more.
Celebrity nesting birds include the rare Cerulean, Prothonotary, and Yellow-throated Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrush, Blue-headed and Yellow-throated Vireos, and Brown Creeper.
From Spring to Fall, Station Road is alive with the color and song of Baltimore Oriole, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, Belted Kingfisher, and Indigo Bunting. Pileated, Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers are common, as are Northern Flickers.
Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, and Broad-winged Hawks are local nesters and can be seen soaring over the river and marsh on calm days. A pair of Peregrine Falcons has recently begun nesting on the OH-82 bridge that crosses high over the trail.
See all hotspots at Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
Warning: All areas of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are prone to deer ticks from the early spring until late fall, so prepare accordingly before birding.
Restrooms at locations identified on Cuyahoga Valley National Park map. Most areas have non-flush toilets; there are flush toilets available at the Pine Hollow parking lot on Quick Road and the Virginia Kendall Lake lodge building.
Station Road Trails
Hikes of 2-4 miles are possible going north or south on the east side of the river in Summit County.
The easiest hiking is in Summit County on the Towpath Trail. You can walk in either direction as far as you desire, remembering that you will need to walk back the same distance.
As of 2021, the train tracks on the west side of the river are closed to entry. There is a $750 fine if you enter the area. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad runs 26 miles through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. No matter how people travel throughout the national park, it’s likely they will come in close contact with the train at some point. Close contact has resulted in near misses, including an incident where damage or injury could have easily happened but did not. For those who don’t spend time around trains, it can be easy to forget how large, wide, and fast they are. Locomotives weigh an average of 400,000 pounds, typically hang three feet or more past the rail, and can take the length of several football fields to stop. Engineers and brake operators often cannot see pedestrians on or close to the tracks until it is too late. Protect yourself and the sights you plan to enjoy by following this closure and staying away from the train tracks.
Restrooms on site
Wheelchair accessible trail
Content from Cuyahoga Valley National Park website, Birding Station Road from the Ohio & Erie Canal website, and Ohio Ornithological Society