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  • At-A-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Noteworthy Rarities
  • Local Resources
  • 12 - Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve

    Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
    Ohio Department of Natural Resources
    Cleveland Museum of Natural History
    5185 Corduroy Road
    Mentor, OH 44060


    Public Access

    Open daily, dawn until dusk


    Hiking Trails, Visitors Center, Checklist Available, Sightings Board, Outdoor Feeders, Wildlife Observation Window, Binocular Rentals

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41° 43'45.75"; W 81° 18'20.07"

    Driving Directions

    Take State Route 2 east and exit at State Route 44. Go north on State Route 44 about a half mile to the State Route 283 overpass (Lakeshore Boulevard). Exit and go west on Lakeshore to the first traffic light. Turn right onto Corduroy Road. The Mentor Marsh House is on the right at 5185 Corduroy Road, just before the road crosses the Marsh.

    What to Look For

    The dominant feature of the nearly 700-acre preserve is a massive, nearly monocultural stand of giant reed, Phragmites australis. This massive grass species can tower to twelve feet or more in height. In spite of the dense Phragmites, a surprising diversity of birds use the marsh, including some noteworthy species. Mentor Marsh is owned by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and is a dedicated state nature preserve.

    The best access point to the marsh is via the Wake Robin Trail, which includes a boardwalk. Recent restoration efforts have increased plant diversity along the trail, and this is the place to try for Le Conte's and Nelson's sparrows. A nature center, the Mentor Marsh House, is located at 5185 Corduroy Road, just east of the marsh. Consult the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for hours of operation and upcoming programs.

    Interesting birding can be had year round, but fall may be the most productive season. Lots of sparrows of many species frequent the marsh vegetation, sometimes threatened by patrolling Merlins. Warblers of many species can be found in the trees that budder the marsh, along with a diversity of other songbirds. Rails and other marsh birds skulk amongst the Phragmites, including both species of bitterns.

    Noteworthy Rarities

    Le Conte's and Nelson's sparrows are fairly reliable along the Wake Robin Trail in October.