Updated: Jun 21, 2021
Ohio has plenty of state forests like Shawnee Forest, Pike State Park, or my personal favorite to visit, Mohican State Park. In these forests and parks, you can encounter numerous species of animals that range from the common and curious to the shy and elusive. Here are some species you can see while out traveling the trails on your DRR ATV. If you want to know where to ride check out our Ohio Trail Guide.
White-Tailed Deer are some of the most common species of large mammals seen across Ohio. There are an estimated to be over 680,000 deer across the state. White-Tailed Deer can run up to 30 miles per hour and jump up to 10 feet tall. These deer are literally everywhere from farms to forests and suburbs to the plans so you can see them on any trail.
Red Foxes are not native to Ohio. The change of environment from forests to scrubs and plains when settlers cleared forests for settlements and farms made it the perfect environment for foxes to move in. Foxes are monogamous and Foxes are very shy and elusive and seeing one is very rare.
Great Blue Heron
The Blue Heron is the largest heron in North America and the second-largest heron in the world behind the Goliath Heron of Africa. They have a wingspan of up to 80 inches. The Great Blue Heron is a migratory species traveling from the southern United States up to Canada and Alaska but the local Ohio population stays as long as the fish are accessible in the waters. The Great Blue Heron can be found on the shores of Lake Erie and the lakes and swamps dotted across the state. Be sure to keep a lookout for the common silhouette in the distance.
America's most famous bird makes its home in 85 of Ohio's 88 counties. The largest concentration of Eagle nests is in north-central Ohio in Ottawa and Sandusky Counties. It is closely related to the White-Tailed Eagle in Eurasia. Its primary habitat is the forests around swamps, lakes, and rivers. Bald Eagles can be seen riding in thermal vents searching for prey or in their nests high up in the trees. Their nests can be quite large and easy to spot.
The most common bird of prey in Ohio the Red-Tailed Hawk can be seen on power lines and tree branches overlooking fields. Red-Tailed Hawks calls are familiar because they are used as the base sound for eagles and other birds of prey in tv and movies. If you want to see a Red-Tailed Hawk make sure you choose a trail that has open fields and plenty of places to perch.
American River Otter
American River Otters disappeared from Ohio in the 1880s, but since the 1990s the Otter has been making a comeback. Otters are piscivores and are naturally playful making them fun to watch. Through the reintroduction process and natural comeback, the otters now live in four different areas in eastern Ohio. Killbuck Creek, Stillwater Creek, Grand River, and Little Muskingum River all have their own otter populations
Red Eared Slider
The Red-Eared Slider is a turtle native to the Mississippi River area of the United States and is commonly found in different areas around Ohio. Mostly found in calmer waters it has been introduced into Ohio and filled a niche. It can be found in the rivers and creeks that have plenty of natural cover and slow-moving water.