Lake Hope State Park Bird Watching



Clear Creek

Bird species of interest at Lake Hope State Park:

The day use area past the beach provides good spring warbler habitat and viewing opportunities. 

Park specialties and/or uncommon Ohio species include: Prothonotary Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker, Cerulean Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, and Purple Finch.

Birding Areas

Wahkeena Nature Preserve-A 150 acre nature preserve also features interesting flora.

Clear Creek - the park is extremely rugged with ravines, rock outcroppings and cliffs.

Hocking Hills - Waterfalls, rugged cliffs and interesting rock formations.

Waterloo -craggy and heavily forested area with ridgetops and ravines.


Lake Hope - forested region with gorges and narrow ridges. Remnants of abandoned mining and iron producing industries.


Lake Snowden - mix of lake, woodland and open land.

Adena HockHocking - remnants of the canal basin and railway.

Wayne Natl. Forest - mix of meadows, forests and streams.

Lake Logan - lake and open meadows.

Rockbridge - wetlands, woodland and pasture.


Below are some common species found in Lake Hope State Park Region:


Red-bellied Woodpecker




STOP 9 -Lake Hope State Park

About the Area:


A natural paradise, Lake Hope State Park lies entirely within the 26,824-acre Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges.   Remnants of abandoned mining and iron producing industries amid the beautiful scenery provide interest and pleasure for hikers, photographers, nature lovers and historians alike at one of Ohio's most historic and scenic state parks.

Seventeen miles of hiking trails traverse the lake and scenic woodlands of the Lake Hope area and offer opportunities for photography and nature study. In the adjacent state forest, a 21-mile backpack trail with primitive campsites is available. Backpackers must register upon arrival. Thirty-three miles of bridle trail in the state forest are available for riders with their own mounts. 


Lake Hope's 23-mile singletrack bike trail was chosen as Ohio's top mountain bike trail by readers of "Mountain Bike Magazine".  The wooded singletrack, which is open to mountain bikes, offers plenty of bike riding options. The Athens Bicycle Club offers a few ideas to get you started. Their bike trail map may also be helpful.

Lake Hope State Park is truly a nature lover's dream. In the forest-draped hills, the observant visitor can discover the abundant natural resources of this wild and scenic park.

Although most of the forest was cut to fuel the iron smelting industry that once flourished here, the land has recovered and supports a magnificent, second-growth forest. Oak and hickory are the dominant trees while the woodland floor harbors a fascinating assemblage of shrubs and wildflowers. The Yellow Lady's Slipper, one of the rarest and most showy orchids, blooms in secluded hollows. Other spring wildflowers such as Blue-eyed Mary, Bloodroot and Wild Geranium can be found in abundance.

White-tailed Deer and Wild Turkeys are often seen in a number of park locations. Of the many animals inhabiting the park, none is as popular as the beaver. As nature's dam builders, the beavers are found in numbers and can be observed near the quiet inlets of the lake.


Birding at Lake Hope

Hope Furnace area provides mixed habitats of forest, riparian, wetland, and meadow edges.  Great for migrating warblers and summer residents.  Species seen in this area include Rough-winged Swallow, Cerulean Warbler, Red-shouldered Hawk, Parula Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker.


Hope Schoolhouse area provides good meadow/brush habitat for chats, Prairie Warblers, and sparrows.  A few scattered reports of Blue Grosbeak near Raccoon Creek in this area.


The wetland area along SR 278 and ¼ mile south of the Lake Hope dam contains a large Great Blue Heron rookery of about 50 nests.  Prothonotary Warblers nest in wooded swamp along the old railroad bed.  Prothonotary Warbler nest boxes are being constructed and should be up by spring 2006.  Red-headed Woodpeckers found in wetland tree snags.  The semi-colonial green heron is common in the summer…possible rookery along railroad bed? 



Take St. Rt. 93 to McArthur.  Turn right on St. Rt. 50 (East) to Prattsville, turn left on 278 (North), follow the signs to Lake Hope State Park.


Lake Hope State Park
27331 State Route 278
McArthur, Ohio  45651
Fax: (740)596-4860

Website and Trail Maps:

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