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Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, Cleveland, OH 44103
Directions: The preserve is located on an old dredge disposal site formerly known as Dike 14 and is adjacent to the East 72d Street Marina in Cleveland. Be sure to park at the Cleveland Lakefront State Park office, not the E.72d Street Marina parking lot. The park office is at 8701 Lake Shore Blvd. Get to the Cleveland Lakefront State Park office by taking the Martin Luther King Dr. exit off of the Shoreway / I-90. Turn north toward Lake Erie, and follow Lakeshore Blvd. right to the top of the hill and turn left into the park office parking lot.
Wear good shoes and socks, long pants for hiking. The terrain is very rough and there are no established signage, walks or trails. We'll take it slow, but it is a wild place that almost no one has accessed yet, so be prepared. There are ticks on site. If you are concerned, you can use bug spray before the hike but that is a personal choice. You can also tuck pants into socks and do a quick check when we are done hiking, and there should be no problem.
Restrooms are available near the Nature Preserve at the Cleveland Lakefront State Park office, and in the Cleveland Lakefront State Park immediately to the west of the Nature Preserve. No facilities on site.
History: Dike 14 was built in 1977-1978 as a Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) and filled with dredged sediments from the Cuyahoga River until 2003. The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority designated Dike 14 the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve in 2012. This act opened the property to free public access year-round. As the new landmass built up Dike 14 became vegetated with plants and trees, attracting birds and other wildlife. Cleveland area birders and citizen scientists began bird surveys. Over 280 species of birds have been found on Dike 14 since it was built. Dike 14 is also home to over 29 species of butterflies, 26 native plant species, 16 mammals, 9 native tree and shrub and 2 reptiles. Learn more about Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, an Important Bird Are (IBA) here.
- March 2015-Brilliant sunshine tempered 20-degree temperatures at the start of the trip. Three hours later, Turkey Vultures soared in 40-degree updrafts. A highlight of the walk was an Eastern Meadowlark in the sparrow field. Numerous Red-winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows and American Robins sang nonstop. Their songs said spring, in contrast to ice-covered Lake Erie. Many deer observed the birders. Coyotes indicated their presence with scat. Leader Gary Neuman described protocols and recruited volunteers for the ongoing multi-year bird survey in the Dike 14 Doan Brook Important Bird Area.
- October 2012-no description available.
- January 2010-WCAS field trip Sunday January 10, 2010 to Cleveland Lakefront State Nature Preserve, a.k.a. Dike 14. Birders had a brilliantly sunny and cold day on the lakefront. It was our first winter field trip to the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, also known as Dike 14. Nancy Howell organized it for us and led the trip. Animal tracks were everywhere in the snow. The ice-bound lake was a beautiful sight from the "beak" of the preserve. Birds here have plenty of cover. They were heard more than seen. The nearby East 72nd Street power plant area offered close-up views of gulls and diving ducks. A few birders stopped by Burke Lakefront Airport as well.
- October 9, 2010-Saturday was dominated by white-throated and chipping sparrows, juncos, and yellow-rumped warblers.
- October 10, 2010-The species that were dominate on Saturday were almost all gone on Sunday, replaced by large numbers of white-crowned sparrows.
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