My next week of travel was Presque Isle, Erie, PA along Lake Erie’s coastline to the northwest corner of Ohio. Warblers migrate through the northwest area of Ohio during a particular time of year; however, I could not coordinate my time to be there when it was to happen. So I thought it best to scout the area now for next year’s travel through this area. I will then know best places to bird, to camp, get food, and whatever else I stumble across during my scouting. What I also discovered east of Cleveland, Ohio is wine country near Madison!
My scouting report:
The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge protects what remains of the Great Black Swamp/marshes of Lake Erie. There is an auto drive loop, but was closed the day I was there. I will return next year.
Side Cut Metro Park in Maumee provided me with great birding on a 2.2 mile loop which paralleled the Maumee River on one half of the walk. Will definitely return here.
Wildwood Preserve Metropark has a beautiful mansion and gardens one can tour. There is plenty of hiking and bicycling activity, not great birding. My next visit here would be to cycle.
W.W. Knight Preserve has a nice short hike one can take by a pond and through a forest. I liked the quiet area. I will stop by here again.
Metzger Marsh has a quick one mile drive in and a trail off the parking lot. It’s an easy way to observe birds from your car.
Magee Marsh has an auto drive of a couple of miles, but most people seemed to enjoy walking the boardwalk. I understand this area can be quite busy when the warblers migrate through the area. I will visit again.
Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve has an interesting history of being constructed with old barge/container ships. Nice trail and even deer where in the area. I will visit again.
Headlands Nature Preserve was recommended to me. The preserve is located next door to Morton Salt Co. There was interesting information about sand dune formation, the piping plover protected nesting area, and the Buckeye Trail (more about that another time). I will definitely stop here again.
About the wineries:
Growing grapes just north of the Grand River in the Madison, Ohio area is where you can find about 25 wineries. The soil from the long ago glacial activity left the best soil for grape-growing and thus vineyards are here.
Debonné Winery had good food and wine. I had a meal and glass of wine. I especially liked the Double Wing Brewing Co. beer. Entertainment happens on weekends. This was a Harvest Host location for my night’s stay and I would return here.
Paper Moon Vineyards had good food and wine. I had a meal and a glass of wine. Their Harvest Blend definitely had Concord grapes in that wine! Entertainment happens here too. This was a Harvest Host location for my night’s stay and I would return here.
Silver Crest Winery had good wine and I could bring in my hummus and crackers. I did a wine tasting of 5 different wines and had a glass of wine with my food. This was a Harvest Host location for my night’s stay and I would return here.
My other nights I stayed at Kampgrounds of America. Staying at the wineries though was a nice change of pace and especially fun ending my day, relaxed with a meal and glass of wine! The birding will be fun next year if I can catch the warblers during their migration; the wineries will be there whenever I come through!
A surprise was my stop in Vermilion, Ohio. This little town has a Main Street Stormwater Improvement Project and care is being taken of their lighthouse. Here is how I ended one of may days … in beauty …