Lisbon, Ohio 44432Guilford Lake State Park webpage
Also, see all the hotspots at:
Guilford Lake State Park
Guilford Lake is good for waterfowl during migration. While there are separate hotspots for the state park and the dam, the way we tend to bird the area is to drive around the lake, looking for ducks at every possible view of the lake, of which there are several. Guilford is a “residential lake”, meaning that there are houses almost completely surrounding it. You have several views of the lake from the state park, 3 boat launch areas, picnic areas, the dam, and 2 restaurants. At one restaurant there is a parking lot overlooking the lake and at the other, you can park in the lot and walk a very short distance to get a good view. Having a scope can be very helpful at several of these spots but we usually actually never even get out of the car.
Guilford is our “go-to” spot for Common Loons during migration and recently we saw more Hooded Mergansers (52) than I believe we have ever seen at one location.
Driving around the lake is not completely straightforward, as you sometimes have to move away from the lake to get to another road that will take you to the lake but it really is not too hard to figure out, especially with the aid of a map. It is approximately 10 miles around the lake, depending on the route you choose and the areas you go to.
The Firestone-Yeagly Wildlife Area nearby is a wetland area at the east end of the lake and is best accessed at Depot Road.
Also, see tips for birding Guilford Lake State Park from Bob Lane.
Guilford Lake is situated in the glaciated plateau region of Ohio. This portion of the Appalachian foothills was overridden by the glaciers that invaded Ohio more than 12,000 years ago. Eventually, the glacial advances were blocked by the harder and higher sandstone ridges of southeastern Ohio. The bedrock materials of this area were formed 300 million years ago from deposits laid down in streams and swamps.
Natural lakes are a feature of the glaciated landscape, although most in Ohio are very small and have now aged into bogs or marshes. These bodies of water were formed by huge chunks of ice that broke off from the retreating glacier and melted in depressions forming kettle lakes.
The area surrounding Guilford Lake, before being impounded as a reservoir, was extremely swampy indicating it may have been a remnant of a natural glacial lake. The park attracts migrating waterfowl in the fall and spring and also provides good habitat for a variety of songbirds such as the red-winged blackbird, song sparrow, and eastern meadowlark. Other wildlife common to the area are red fox, raccoon, skunk, and white-tailed deer.
Restrooms on site.
Content from Guilford Lake State Park webpage, Laura Dornan, and Bob Lane