As summer turns to autumn, experience one of Ohio's best coastal dunes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, September 18 at Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve. The event, part of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Natural Areas Discovery Series, features two different nature hikes.
The 25-acre preserve is situated along the coast of Lake Erie in Lake County. It features an array of Atlantic Coastal Plains plants whose origins lie in Ohio's glacial past.
The first of three naturalist-led hikes begins at 8 a.m. This early morning hike explores migratory birds, forest birds, as well as a variety of shore birds that can be seen resting along the preserve's beach. The other two hikes, which begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., focus on the unique vegetation of the dunes.
"This is the time of year when birds begin returning from Canada to their southern homes," says Charlotte McCurdy, preserve manager. "Headlands is a great place to see them as they stop to refuel after the long journey across Lake Erie."
Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve is located west of Fairport Harbor at the north end of State Route 44 and the far east end of Headlands Beach State Park. Parking and restrooms are available in the state park.