Hinckley Buzzard  LbNA # 25797

OwnerTraveln Turtle    
Placed DateSep 24 2006
LocationHinckley, OH
Found By Pine Whisperer
Last Found Oct 15 2015
Hike Distance?
Last EditedOct 27 2015

Hinckley Buzzard

Equipment Needed: Letterboxing equipment, possibly bug spray
Difficulty: Easy
Time 30 minutes

Driving Directions:

Take State Road south past Route 303 in Hinckley, Ohio. Take a right onto West Drive (right past Whipp’s Ledges entrance) and a right into the Hinckley Lake Boathouse parking area. Go through this parking lot to the very last one at Johnson’s Picnic area. Park here.


Buzzard Day March 19th
The legend of the annual return of the buzzards (turkey vultures) to Buzzard Roost in the Cleveland Metroparks goes back nearly a century in Hinckley history.
Legend has it that they were first attracted by the tons of butchering refuse and unwanted game left behind in the great Hinckley Hunt of 1818, but additional historical research among the records of the Sylvester Library of Medina uncovered an old manuscript by William Coggswell, who as a youth with his uncle, Gibson Gates, were the first white men to set foot in the township in 1810. This manuscript told of their expedition from Bath and Richfield through Hinckley, and of finding the "vultures of the air" at the gallows at Big Bend of Rocky River around the foot of the ledges where the Wyandots had hanged a squaw for witchcraft two years before. This indicated that these turkey vultures had made their home on Hinckley Ridge long before the white men settled west of the Cuyahoga River, and it moved their occupancy back into the midst of the Indians legend.

In 1957 a reporter from the Cleveland Press became interested in a claim by Metroparks Ranger Walter Nawalaniec. He told the reporter that he had personally observed the buzzards arrival in Hinckley each March 15 for the past six years and that his predecessor, the late Charlie Willard had kept a personal log of their arrival for the past 23 years.

The reporter's interest was aroused. He wrote in the February 15, 1957 issue of a Cleveland paper that longtime legend of the Hinckley Buzzards. He further predicted their return in exactly one month - March 15. The township proclaimed the first Sunday after March 15 as Buzzard Sunday.

The Cleveland Metroparks welcome visitors yearly on March 15 to the Buzzard Roost in Hinckley Reservation. With a traditional "Buzzard Spotter" (for many years retired ranger Roger Lutz and now the chief naturalist Robert Hinkle) the first buzzard's time of arrival is clocked. The event is hailed as a sign of spring in the Midwest by all who attend.


1. Take the paved all-purpose trail over the bridge to the right of the lake. Take the immediate left onto the gravel path (Hinckley Lake Loop trail).

2. You will see a wooden step (support wall) on your left leading down to the pond. Take 15 single-stepped paces on the trail (the direction you were headed).

3. Take the smaller trail South up the hill. You will pass a flat rock on your right under a pine tree.

4. From this rock take 22 single-stepped paces. Look left, you will see a foot-high stump/log. Go 6 single-stepped paces further up the trail in the direction you were going. Look left to a fallen tree; follow the bark trail on the right to the fork in that fallen tree. The letterbox is well hidden under bark in this nook. Please cover it completely when you are finished!

Please contact me when you find this LB and give me a status update! Thanks!