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  • At-A-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Noteworthy Rarities
  • Local Resources
  • 10 - Fairport Harbor

    Lake Metroparks
    301 Huntington Beach Drive
    Fairport Harbor, OH 44077

    440.639.9972

    Public Access

    Open daily, dawn until dusk; parking fee in summer

    Amenities

    Restrooms, Picnic Area

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41° 45'29.98"; W 81° 16'35.86"

    Driving Directions

    Take State Route 2 to the Fairport Harbor/Richmond Street exit and go north to the light at the Richmond Street/State Route 283 intersection. Proceed north (straight) for about 1/4 mile to High Street. Turn right on High Street and proceed to Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park entrance.

    What to Look For

    Fairport Harbor lies at the mouth of the Grand River, in the village of Fairport Harbor. The bulk of the lakefront is managed as this 21-acre park, which is owned by the village of Fairport Harbor and overseen by Lake Metroparks. It includes a beach that is nearly a ¼ mile in length. An extensive offshore breakwall protects the harbor, and large numbers of waterfowl often congregate in its protected waters. Huge numbers of Bontaparte's Gulls often mass in the harbor and near the mouth of the Grand River. November and December are the prime months for gulls and waterfowl.

    The beach is always worth a look in spring. Shorebirds such as Ruddy Turnstone and Sanderling can drop in, and occasionally a Willet. Terns and gulls can often be found roosting as well. Summer and the warmer months bring large numbers of people to the beach, which greatly reduces birding opportunities.

    Noteworthy Rarities

    Fairport Harbor and its immediate vicinity sports a big list of rarities. A Common Eider appeared two consecutive years, providing two of Ohio's three records. Northern Gannet, all three scoter species, Red Phalarope, and Purple Sandpiper have been recorded. Snowy Owls sometimes frequent the rocky breakwalls. Numerous rare gulls have turned up, often within the hordes of Bonaparte's Gulls that congregate, including Black-legged Kittiwake, Sabine's, Black-headed, Little, and Mew gulls.

    Local Resources

    Lake County Visitors Bureau & Welcome Center
    Lake Metroparks
    Village of Fairport Harbor

    Nearby Lake Access Sites

    The eastern end of Fairport Harbor, in the vicinity of the marina, can be worth checking. This area has produced Common Eider, Mew Gull, and Cave Swallow. The marina can be reached by walking to the east end of the beach; a trail skirts along the summit of the bluff that overlooks Lake Eire, and connects with Prospect Street which ends at the marina.