At Lake Hope State Park every summer from June to August you can go to the Nature Center from Wednesday through Sunday and you will be given a floral tube with food and with a little patience feed a hummingbird.
Dave Sapienza, the Park Naturalist, began placing hummingbird feeders around the nature center in the 1990’s and while cleaning one of the feeders one of the hummingbirds helped himself to some of the sugar water. That gave him the inspiration to have visitors to the park feed the hummingbirds. The program officially began in 2001 and now as many as 100 people can show up on a given day to feed the hummingbird.
Lake Hope is located within the Zaleski State Forest and is part of the Hocking Valley Birding Trail and every spring the ruby-throated hummingbirds nest in trees covering the hills and gorges of the park. They are the only hummingbird known to nest in the state..
These small birds are only abour 3.5 inches long and only weigh less than half an ounce. The males have the bright red throat and females have white throats. They return to Lake Hope from their winter homes along the Gulf of Mexico and build their nests in May. When they are flying their wings can beat as fast as 80 times per second.
Since the hummingbirds have been fed at this one location for years they return every year to feed while they are mating. They seem to remember the spot and look for it. Everyone gets a small florests tube feeder and stay very still and wait for the hummingbirds to feed. During this program the larger feeders are taken down. Children and adults alike are able to feed the hummingbirds.
During the program an estimated 30 birds will come into feed and 75% of the people attending will actually get to feed a hummingbird. The key is to be patient. This is a video of the program.
Lake Hope State Park also has 23 miles of mountain bike trails, a lake with boat rental and beach and a dining lodge with a balcony that overlooks the lake for a meal. Lake Hope State Park has a 23-mile singletrack bike trail that was chosen as Ohio’s top mountain bike trail by readers of “Mountain Bike Magazine.” The wooded singletrack, which is open to mountain bikes, offers plenty of bike riding options.
They also have cabins to rent and a larger lodge for family reunions and anniversary parties and plenty of campsites. Lake Hope State Park is located at 27331 State Route 278, McArthur, Ohio 45651, The Park Office phone number is740-596-4938. The Dining Lodge number is 740-596-0601 and to reserve a cabin or campsite call 866-644-6727.
Lake Hope State Park is located at 27331 State Route 278, McArthur, Ohio 45651
Copyright Terri Baker 2015