Birding at Pleasant Hill Lake

Perrysville, Ohio

Visiting this Site

Site Maps & Info

Information about this site.

Pleasant Hill Lake Park

General Information


3431 OH-95, Perrysville, OH 44864


Ashland, Richland

DeLorme Page Number and Coordinates

(7th Edition and earlier) P. 49, C-7

Nearest Town or City

2 miles west of Perrysville, Ohio.

Directions from Nearest Town or City

The lake is 13 miles southeast of Mansfield. From the intersection of I-71 and Rte. 97, take Rte 97 east to Butler. In Butler, take Rte. 95 northeast to Pleasant Hill Lake.

About Pleasant Hill Lake

Pleasant Hill Lake is good during migration for observing waterfowl and gulls. Unusual gulls seen at the swimming beach in late summer and autumn have been California, Lesser Black-backed, Franklin’s and Laughing. A few Caspian terns also use this area during migration.

The Swimming Beach: The swimming beach is located along the north shore of the lake. Drive in the Pleasant Hill Lake S.P. entrance and continue straight to the lake. There is a parking lot on a hill above the beach. Another option is to drive around the west side of the building at the end of the entrance road, continuing past boat docks until you are at the beach. The swimming beach is good early in the spring until mid-May and Late August until the lake freezes.

West portion of the lake: To get to this location, while driving along Rte. 95 east of Rte. 603, turn south onto Covert Road, which is one mile east of the Rte. 95 and Rte. 603 intersection. Continue on Covert Road until the road curves to the left. At this curve, there is a gravel lane to the right, which has a small green “no camping” sign at its beginning. Continue slowly on this lane until you come to its end. Park here and walk to the lake to view waterfowl, osprey and eagles.

Another location to view the west part of the lake is on the south side of the lake. From the intersection of Rte. 603 and Rte. 95 take, Rte. 95 southwest towards Butler. Take the first road to the left, Pleasant Hill Road. Continue on this road to the first road to the left, Barron Road. Continue along Barron Road until its end at the lake, where there is a small parking area.

Central portion of the lake: After entering the State Park continue until just before the parking lot on the hill, above the swimming beach. There is a park road that parallels the lake, in an easterly direction. There are woods along this road where migrant songbirds can be found. Park along any of the pull-offs along this park road and walk to the lake to search for waterfowl, gulls, Osprey and Bald Eagles.

Pleasant Hill Lake Dam: From Butler take Rte. 97 east to McCurdy Road. Continue north on McCurdy until turning right onto Good Road, which has a sign at this intersection, to the Mohican State Park Lodge. Continue on Goon Road (do not take the drive to the lodge) as it winds around the hills, until it comes out at the dam. Probably the best attribute about this location is the spectacular view of the Mohican Gorge and Pleasant Hill Lake.

Visiting Information

Closed hours/season

Open all year during daylight hours.


State Park fees between Memorial and Labor Day.

Restroom Facilities

Available at the marina.

Restaurants in the Area

Malabar SP Inn, Mohican SP Lodge, restaurants in Loudonville.

Other Birding Spots in the Area

Killbuck Marsh WA, Mohican SP, Funk Bottoms WA, Clear Fork Reservoir, Charles Mill Lake, Secrest Arboretum (Wooster).

Birds of Interest by Season


Bald Eagles are present until the lake freezes.


Waterfowl and Caspian terns.


Late summer – gulls. Two Osprey nesting platforms exit at Pleasant Hill Lake, in hopes of attracting nesting birds.


In late fall the water level is lowered at the lake creating mud flats in the west end. One winter a Dunlin and two Sandhill Cranes wintered at this part of the lake.

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