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  • At-a-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Noteworthy Rarities
  • Natural Features
  • Local Resources
  • 29 - Rocky River Reservation

    Cleveland Metroparks
    24000 Valley Parkway
    North Olmsted, OH 44070


    Public Access

    Open daily, dawn until 11 p.m.


    Hiking Trails, Equestrian Trails, Restrooms, Visitors Center, Picnic Area, Handicap Accessible Trails, Checklist Available, Sightings Board, Outdoor Feeders, Wildlife Observation Window, Binocular Rentals

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41° 24'26.97"; W 81° 52'57.40"

    Driving Directions

    From I-480, exit at Clague Road. Turn left onto Clague Road. Turn right onto Mastick Road. Rocky River Reservation (Shephard Lane) entrance is on the left.

    What to Look For

    This sprawling, linear park encompasses over 5,600 acres, and is centered along the Rocky River. While not all of the parkland is natural—it includes three golf courses and numerous picnic grounds—Rocky River has an abundance and diversity of excellent habitat. There is floodplain and upland forests, steep cliffs and bluffs, and open meadows. Birding is good year-round, and Rocky River is an especially productive spot to seek a wide variety of breeding birds.

    From 2006 thru 2010, Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society conducted bird surveys of this area, which is designated as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society.

    Noteworthy regional nesters include Yellow-throated Warbler, Broad-winged Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Black-billed and Yellow-billed cuckoos, and possibly Cerulean Warbler and Louisiana Waterthrush.

    Both spring and fall migration can be fabulous for songbirds, and winter can bring Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, and crossbills in some years.

    Noteworthy Rarities

    Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, the hybrid Brewster's and Lawrence's warblers, Blue Grosbeak, Le Conte's Sparrow, and Bohemian Waxwing have been found.

    Natural Features

    An excellent interpretative center, the Rocky River Nature Center, is a site near the junction of Shepard Lane and Metroparks Valley Parkway. Further south along Rocky River is the Mill Stream Run Reservation, and Hinckley Reservation, also owned and managed by Cleveland Metroparks. Hinckley is famous for its Annual Return of the Buzzards Day, every March 15th. Both of these sites offer similar birding opportunities to Rocky River Reservation.