Summit Lake State Park
Since its creation in 1988, Summit Lake has become one of the best places in East Central Indiana to watch waterfowl, especially as they migrate through each fall and spring. Within the park’s 2,500 acres, birding is often very good at the swimming beach and boat ramp areas, but the real focal point for birders is just outside the park’s boundaries, at the three ponds that comprise the Nature Area (known to many as the Back Ponds, one of which is Pintail Pond).
The park is located at 5993 N. Messick Road, north of U.S. 36, and the Nature Area is at the intersection of County Roads 500 E and 750 N. See The Indiana Audubon Society’s Birding Trail for information about other spots to explore at Summit Lake.
Wilbur Wright State Fish & Wildlife Area
The Wilbur Wright FWA, located north of New Castle off State Rd. 103, is perhaps best known among birders as a place to watch male woodcocks do their aerial mating display each spring. While there are never any guarantees as to when and how often the woodcocks will put on their display, the best chances for seeing them in action are mid-spring, just after sunset. For more information about the specific fields where woodcocks nest, call 765-529-9581.
Located just west of New Castle, Westwood Park’s 650 acres include a 180-acre lake, often good for catching migratory waterfowl as they pass through the area. The entire park is under the authority of the Big Blue River Conservancy District.
Westwood’s entrance is located at 1900 S CR 275 W, south of State Rd. 38. (See map.)