Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X / search

  • At-A-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Noteworthy Rarities
  • Natural Features
  • Local Resources
  • 6 - Arcola Creek Park

    Lake Metroparks
    941 Dock Road
    Madison Township, OH 44057


    Public Access

    Open daily, sunrise to sunset


    Hiking Trails, Restrooms, Picnic Area

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41° 50'58.65"; W 81° 0'28.93"

    Driving Directions

    Take State Route 20 to Dock Road and go north for 3.5 miles. Arcola Creek Park is located on the right (east).

    What to Look For

    The main feature of this 153-acre park is the small estuary of Arcola Creek, formed where the stream joins Lake Erie. Low marshy areas attract rails in migration, as well as large numbers of sparrows of many species in migration. Woods surrounding the estuary can be good for a variety of migrant songbirds, especially in April/May and September.

    An impressive 77 species have been recorded at Arcola Creek during the breeding season, and many of them have been confirmed as nesting. Some of the more significant breeders include Common Moorhen, Alder Flycatcher, and Marsh Wren. Rarer wetland species that have been observed but not confirmed as nesting include Virginia Rail, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Sedge Wren.

    Diversity drops way off in winter, but Bald Eagles are always possible, as are several species of gulls on nearby Lake Erie, including Great Black-backed Gull and Glaucous Gull. If open water is available, possible waterfowl include Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, and possibly scoters.

    Noteworthy Rarities

    The marshes buffering the estuary have produced a number of records of Le Conte's Sparrow and Nelson's Sparrow. October is prime time to look for these elusive skulkers. Both American and Least Bittern have been reported, and they should be watched for in both spring and fall migration. There are records of Northern Saw-whet Owl, and peak passages for these tiny owls occur in March/April and October/November. They often roost in thick grapevine tangles and can be difficult to spot. Any of the 37 warbler species that pass through Ohio annually can turn up, including rare Connecticut and Golden-winged Warblers.

    Natural Features

    Botanists will be interested in several rare plants that occur in the estuary marsh: Leafy Tussock Sedge (Carex aquatilis), American Sweet-flag (Acorus americanus), and American Reed Grass (Phragmites australis ssp. americanus). A non-native subspecies of Phragmites has taken over large areas of Lake Erie wetland habitat, and has greatly reduced the native form.

    Local Resources

    Lake County Visitors Bureau & Welcome Center
    Lake County Metroparks

    Nearby Lake Access Site

    Madison Township Park. A 12-acre lakefront park with a 630-foot beach. Can be good for lake-watching and various waterbirds on the beach. Located on the north side of Lake Road East at Hubbard Road in Madison Township. Located 2.25 miles west of Arcola Creek.