Location & Description
This 842-acre wildlife area is situated in the gently rolling agricultural region of southwest Ohio just east of the Little Miami River, eight miles south of Xenia and four miles north of Waynesville. The area may be reached by turning east off U.S. Route 42 onto Roxanna-New Burlington Road. More than one-third of the area is in cropland and permanent meadow intermixed with brushy fencerows and extensive brushy coverts. Woods cover approximately a third of the area. A 150-acre lake and marsh complex are located on the area’s south edge.
History & Purpose
Purchasing of land for this public hunting and fishing area began in 1953. The area includes the old Sinclair Fur Farm lake and marsh which was improved in 1954 to provide the present 80-acre lake. In addition to hunting and fishing, secondary uses such as gun and archery target shooting, and wildlife observation have become increasingly important. Cropland is managed to provide good distribution of wildlife food and cover in conjunction with the permanent meadow and woody cover. More than 100,000 trees and shrubs have been planted to provide permanent wildlife cover.
Largemouth bass, bluegill, black bullhead, and carp are the principal fish species. Cottontail rabbit, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, fox and gray squirrels, white-tailed deer, woodchuck, raccoon, muskrat, skunk, opossum, an occasional coyote, and some newly arrived beaver are the principal upland game and fur species. A variety of waterfowl are attracted to the lake during migration and some remain during the winter. Wood ducks nest here in considerable numbers. Mallards, black ducks, wood ducks, blue-winged teal, Canada geese, and coots are most numerous during migration.
The best rabbit, pheasant and quail hunting is found in the open fields and brushy areas; pheasants are also found in the marshy areas north and west of the lake. There is a good squirrel woods in the northeastern part of the area, and fox squirrels can usually be taken in the scattered woods along the river. Deer hunting is good throughout the area. Raccoons and woodchucks are widely distributed and hunting for them is usually productive. The best waterfowl hunting is in the marsh and the vegetation around the edge of the lake. Trapping is productive in the marsh and river for muskrat, raccoon, and mink. The best bass and bluegill fishing is around the numerous logs and stumps and aquatic vegetation in the lake. The wetland complex has long been popular with bird watchers and other nature enthusiasts as its open water and marshy areas include a large number of unusual birds, plants, and animals. Virtually all of Ohio’s common avian residents, as well as typical Ohio migrants, are represented. More than 230 species in all have been identified throughout the area. A 2.5-mile observation trail circles the marsh and provides relatively dry walking. The Birds of Spring Valley Wildlife Area Checklist is available at the wildlife area headquarters bulletin board. Spring Valley Wildlife Area is also the site of a variety of ongoing wildlife research projects. Facility locations are shown on the map and include parking lots, access roads, nature trails, shooting ranges, and an archery course. Spring Valley Wildlife Area also features designated access roads for Electric Powered All Purpose Vehicle (EPAPV)/Motor Vehicle Use Permit holders. The permit allows use of an EPAPV with a 30 horsepower and/or use of a motor vehicle on designated access roads on specific state wildlife areas for mobility impaired persons.