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The city has closed this site indefinitely, due to structural damage to the seawall caused over winter.
  • At-A-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Noteworthy Rarities
  • Local Resources
  • 18 - Eastlake Seawall

    10 Erie Road
    Eastlake, OH 44094


    Public Access

    Open daily, as weather permits

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41° 40'29.28"; W 81° 26'23.33"

    Driving Directions

    From Rte. 2 take the Lost Nation Rd. exit. If eastbound, go straight across Lost Nation from the ramp onto Lakeland Blvd. If westbound, turn left (south) from the ramp onto Lost Nation and then right onto Lakeland Blvd. At the first stop, turn right (north) onto Erie Rd. Follow Erie to its end at the fishing access parking lot.

    What to Look For

    Birders often refer to this site as the "Eastlake Power Plant", because of the large plant just to the west of the site. This site is just a parking lot of a little less than an acre, directly fronting Lake Erie. It provides an easy drive-up site to scan the lake, which in this area is often filled with birds. A scan of the power plant's tall stacks is always in order, as Peregrine Falcons nest on them and the birds can often be spotted sitting on one of the stack's railings or other features.

    The most productive birding is from October throughout winter. Be mindful, if excessive ice forms in the parking lot and entrance drive, the area may be closed. Warm water releases from the power plant keep an area of water open in front of the seawall, which lures scores of birds. Late fall brings hordes of Bonaparte's Gulls, and often rare species are mixed in, such as Black-headed Gull or Little Gull. In all, sixteen species of gulls have been found here. The breakwalls that extend into Lake Erie behind the power plant are often covered with roosting gulls. A scope will be required to sort through them, but doing so nearly always produces Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed gulls.

    Incredible numbers of Red-breasted Mergansers collect offshore, beginning in late November. So many birds can be present that the flocks resemble low-lying storm clouds scudding over the lake. Nearly all of the diving ducks can be seen from the Eastlake Seawall, including all three scoter species and Long-tailed Duck.

    Noteworthy Rarities

    Northern Gannets have been seen multiple times, and Black-legged Kittiwake, California, and Sabine's gulls. Glaucous, Iceland, and Thayer's gulls are regular winter visitors. Pomarine Jaegers are sometimes observed chasing gulls.

    Local Resources

    City of Eastlake
    Lake County Visitors Bureau & Welcome Center
    Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society

    Nearby Lake Access Sites

    Osborne Park. Sometimes referred to as "Willoughby Municipal Park," this 43-acre lakefront property can be accessed from Lake Shore Boulevard (State Route 283); it lies about two miles east of the Eastlake Seawall.

    Sunset Park. A two-acre lake overlook that offers excellent vistas of Lake Erie and can be a good hawk-watch site in spring. It is even better in fall for observing jaegers and waterfowl. Located about ¼ mile west of Osborne Park, at the junction of Westwood Drive and North Beachwood Road.