East Fork State Park

Come out and join our trip leader Joe Bens for what should be an exciting, early autumn (close enough) day afield. Joe is an expert birder and fall song bird migration (especially warblers) will be in full swing by this date. Joe will most likely focus on that seasonal spectacle and rightfully so. But Joe is also a skilled and well rounded naturalist who is also heavily interested in botany and butterflies. So in Joes own words “we will walk around and look at everything”. With Joe as our trip leader, we can be assured we will find and identify many species of birds, lots of butterflies and observe a great diversity of plants on this field trip.

With its varied habitats, this 4,870 acre Ohio State Park is an excellent location to find all of this natural diversity. Neo-tropic migration will be at peak on this date, as is shorebird migration. The parks woodlands should abound with warblers and other songbirds and some shorebirds, gulls and terns can usually be found on the Parks beaches. Osprey and Bald Eagles and other raptors are expected as well. Many species of water related birds are attracted to 2,160 acre Harsha Lake and there is always a chance for a rarity, as East Fork has an excellent reputation in that regard, particularly in the fall.

Joe knows East Fork SP very well (Joe has been the compiler of the East Fork Christmas Bird Count for over 30 years) and plans to visit several different locations and habitats within the park. This will entail driving to a few different spots interspersed with a bit of walking in between. While we will walk a bit during the morning, it will be moderate and at a leisurely pace over mostly level trails and roadsides. Joe will probably stay at it until birding begins to tail off in the afternoon. So come out and see a diversity of birds, butterflies and plants on what should be a pleasant autumnal morning in a beautiful setting. Restrooms are available in the park. There are no Park fees. If you expect to see birds, you will need binoculars. Other items that may make your walk more enjoyable include a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water and waterproof walking shoes. If you have any questions feel free to contact Joe.

Directions:
We will meet at 8:00 AM in the Parking Lot of the south shore Swimming Beach. To get there; enter East Fork SP from the south entrance and follow the Park signs to the beach. We will meet at the west end (left hand side facing the lake) of the parking lot.
To get to the south side entrance to East Fork SP from I-275 take exit # 65, SR 125 (Beechmont Ave./Ohio Pike) and go east about 9 miles to the junction of Rt. 222. Turn left onto Bantam Rd. (opposite Rt. 222) and follow the signs to the park entrance.

Visit the East Fork State Park website for a Park map and other info at:
http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/eastfork
Army Core of Engineers Harsha Lake website:
http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Recreation/Lakes/William-H-Harsha-Lake/

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