My husband and I stumbled upon the Carlisle Raptor Center near LaGrange, Ohio, almost by accident. We were driving in the area when I refreshed my Roadside America app and discovered we were only five miles away from the World’s Largest Eagle’s Nest replica. Aware of my fondness for roadside attractions, my husband was happy to deviate from our original plan of perusing antique stores to humor me with a quick stop to check out the marvel.
The original “Great Nest” and inspiration for the replica that is now on display was located east of Vermilion near Lake Erie from 1890 to 1925 until a storm blew down the tree that it was rested in.
An average Eagle’s Nest is five feet wide and three feet deep but the Great Nest measured a huge 12 feet tall, 8 1/2 feet wide and weighed more than a 1925 Ford Model T! Constructed stick by stick over a period of 35 years, it was the largest known Eagle’s Nest and perhaps the largest ever constructed by the bird species.
Dr. Francis H. Herrick spent three springs and summers in the early 1920s observing and recording the nesting rituals of the Eagle’s of the Great Eyrie. His work even appeared in the National Geographic magazine, offering Americans a deeper understanding of the national emblem, the Bald Eagle.
The nest replica was unveiled on March 2007 and is situated outside the Visitor’s Center in the Raptor Center.
Part of the Visitor Center was closed during our visit since they were in the midst of the holiday lights display so we headed outside to see the massive birds nest and the birds that were on display in the Raptor Center.
The outdoor cages hold a Bald Eagle, Screech Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Barred Owl, Red-Tailed Hawks, and a Vulture.
The Visitor’s Center, Raptor Center displays and hiking trails located on the grounds are free. I plan to check out the hiking trails on my next visit to the area.
Want to plan a visit of your own?
Carlisle Raptor Center
- Address: 12882 Nickel Plate Diagonal Road LaGrange, Ohio
- Phone: 440-458-5121
- Admission: Free
- Website: http://www.metroparks.cc/carlisle_reservation.php
Did you enjoy this post? Here are some other Roadside Attractions you can find in Ohio:
The Big Muskie was a familiar feature in the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio for many years. All that remains of this massive dragline is the bucket, the focal point in the Miner’s Memorial Park a short drive from Cambridge.
The World’s Largest Basket and basket replica are a short drive from Newark, Ohio.
This list could change as I visit more and more roadside attractions, but for now, here are 10 Roadside Attractions you don’t want to miss.