Watch an eagle soar high in the sky.
© Kay Wuske
Brecksville Reservation - Station Road Bridge - Cleveland Metroparks & Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Bald Eagles, Blue Herons and so much more ... Regarded as one of the top birding hotspots in northern Ohio, the Station Road Bridge trailhead is shared by Cleveland Metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The canal and the Cuyahoga River wind along the riparian valley, as does the scenic railroad. A large swamp, north of the main parking area and the Route 82 bridge, are home to nesting Bald Eagle and a Great Blue Heron rookery. This area is closed during the eagle nesting season. When open, the marsh can be accessed - with a park ranger’s help - by carefully walking alongside the railroad tracks. The large wooded swamp also is home to uncommon Red-headed Woodpeckers and Prothonotary Warblers, as well as nesting Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser. Another large marsh can be accessed by carefully walking south along the scenic railroad tracks - again with a ranger’s direction. Here, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Virginia Rail, Sora, Hooded Merganser, Swamp Sparrow, and Common Yellowthroat nest.
The main all-purpose Towpath Trail running along the east side of the river is by far the easiest access through the park. Enormous Eastern Sycamores and cottonwoods line the river, and a steep wooded hillside meets the Towpath Trail in a marshy riparian lowland along the canal.
During Spring migration, upwards of 21 species of warblers have been recorded along the trail and railroad in a single day, along with hordes of thrushes, vireos, flycatchers, kinglets, sparrows, and more.
Celebrity nesting birds include the rare Cerulean, Prothonotary and Yellow-throated Warblers, Louisiana Waterthrush, Blue-headed and Yellow-throated Vireos, and Brown Creeper.
From Spring to Fall, Station Road is alive with color and song of Baltimore Oriole, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, Belted Kingfisher and Indigo Bunting. Pileated, Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers are common, as are Northern Flickers.
Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, and Broad-winged Hawks are local nesters and can be seen soaring over the river and marsh on calm days. A pair of Peregrine Falcons has recently begun nesting on the Route 82 bridge that crosses high over the trail.
Wildlife - White-tailed Deer, Fox and Eastern Gray Squirrels, raccoon, Muskrat, Beaver, and Mink can be found along the Hike and Bike trail, managed by Metro Parks, Serving Summit County. Snapping and Eastern Painted Turtles are abundant, as are Green and Bullfrogs, Gray Treefrogs, Spring Peepers, and Northern Water Snakes.