Margaret Peak Nature Preserve

Margaret Peak Nature Preserve

36585 Butternut Ridge Road North Ridgeville, Ohio 44039

Also, see all the hotspots at:
Lorain County Birding Drive

Tips for Birding

Eaton Township’s Margaret Peak Nature Preserve opened in 2009. It rapidly became known for grassland birds such as the Dickcissels, Field Sparrows, and Savannah Sparrow. Other highlights were Horned Larks, singing Indigo Buntings, Spotted Sandpipers and a family of Hooded Mergansers. Much of the preserve’s 98 acres is planted with soybeans, which provide a home for Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers, and Horned Larks. Eaton Township has steadily added features and trails including three observation mounds and a woodland path.

Some practical suggestions: Wear a hat, as there is little shade in this preserve. Check for ticks after hiking here (some years are worse than others).

Birds of Interest

For November 2020, short-eared owls and Northern harriers have been the highlights. The owls appeared there for the first time ever on November 3, and birders gathered at dusk every evening to watch the acrobatic show. A mown path leads from the parking lot to a packed gravel walkway through the field heading back to the ponds and small woods. Several observation mounds and benches dot the property. During migration, many species of warblers and waterfowl visit the preserve, but the real highlights may be the breeding grassland species: grasshopper and vesper sparrows, dickcissels, and bobolinks. Vagrant rarities are always a possibility: Smith’s longspur, black-bellied whistling duck, and clay-colored sparrow have all dropped in, for a total of 202 species.
From Diana Steele, Ohio Ornithological Society

About this Location

Eaton Township has received a gift from Margaret L. Peak of approximately 98 acres of land located on Butternut Ridge Rd. to be named the Margaret Peak Nature Preserve. It is Mrs. Peak’s wish to establish and maintain a nature preserve on this farmland for the residents of the Township to enjoy and get away from the hectic pace of everyday life. Mrs. Peak desires to preserve in Lorain County for future generations an area devoted to its natural setting. It is the intention of Mrs. Peak and the Eaton Township Trustees that the premises be allowed to grow as much as is possible in its natural state and limit buildings, construction, and hard top surfaces to those which are absolutely necessary to allow visitors to the area and to maintain the premises.
From Eaton Township Recreation Department

Notable Trails

There are approximately three miles of trails. Going straight back to the ponds, looping around one, and returning will be 1.5 miles.

Restroom on site, portable toilet.