Maumee Bay State Park is a tribute to Lake Erie. This precious gift is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world and it reflects the diverse natural heritage of Ohio.
Thehistory of Lake Erie began with the glacial period known as the Pleistocene. Massive sheets of ice gouged and scoured the bedrock of Ohio. Testimony of the ice's force is found throughout the lake area. Small scratches in the rock surface known as glacial striations are common, while major grooves are rare but awesome.
Thewetlands of the Maumee Bay area offer a vivid array of natural wonders. Wetlands contain more species of wildlife than any other habitat type, including: fox snake, northern water snake, painted turtle, chorus frog, green frog, spotted salamander, raccoon, muskrat, dragonfly, caddis fly, and water striders. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded with shorebirds such as snipe, great blue heron, common gallinule and ring-billed gulls residing with waterfowl including Canada geese, pintails, redheads, and ruddy ducks. Songbirds include the red-winged blackbird, yellow warbler, killdeer and swamp sparrow. Spring migration brings many others including the colorful warblers. The plant life is diverse as well. Cattails, buttonbush, phragmites, bur-reed, cottonwood and black willow are just a few examples of the marsh plants at the park.
In addition to marsh and swamp wetlands, several prairies add more diversity to the landscape. Ring-necked pheasants densely populate the meadow areas of the park.
TheLake Erie shoreline sets the stage for the comeback of the bald eagle in Ohio. Nesting pairs have been reported recently in Ohio with the majority being in the western basin of Lake Erie.
History of the Area
Thirteen thousand years ago, Lake Erie was much larger than it is today -- stretching from western New York to Fort Wayne, Indiana. As the lake receded to its present size, a great flat plain was formed (120 miles long and 30-40 miles wide). This area became known as the Great Black Swamp due to the color of the soil and dark shade beneath the trees. The Indians settled only near the well-drained lands beside the Maumee River and its tributaries.
Formany years, the swamp was a tremendous barrier to western settlement. Most settlers traveled by boat on Lake Erie to reach southern Michigan. Major cities of the area circled the perimeter of the swamp; none lay within it except Bowling Green. In 1859, a law was passed providing for a system of public ditches to drain the land. By 1870, the swamp was still only half cleared • Eventually, after a period of intense lumbering and draining, the swamp had nearly vanished and the area became a major agricultural region.
Acquisition of park lands began in 1974 with matching funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Maumee Bay officially became a state park in 1975.
Ohio's eighth state park lodge opened in May of 1991 -- Quilter Lodge overlooking the Maumee Bay of Lake Erie offers 120 guest rooms each with balcony -- Lodge features include racquetball courts, game room, saunas, whirlpools, indoor and outdoor pools, conference and meeting rooms, dining room and lounge, and a snack bar.
24 deluxe cottages at the park are nestled among scenic wetlands and a picturesque golf course -- Each cottage is equipped with a gas fireplace, heating and air conditioning, fully equipped kitchen, living area, two bedrooms with a loft, or four bedrooms -- Cottage guests may use all lodge facilities -- Pets are permitted in select cottages.
252electric sites -- Showerhouses, flush toilets, electricity and playground equipment are available -- The campsites are open and spacious and border natural meadows and ponds which are open to fishing for campers only -- Pet camping is also permitted -- Five miles of asphalt "bicycle/pedestrian" trails provide access to most of the day-use areas -- Bike rental, a basketball court and horseshoe pits are available -- Registered campers can borrow games and sporting equipment from the camp office
3 Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining fly, cooler, cook stove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months -- 1 Yurt
Interpretive Boardwalk • 2 Miles • Easy • The boardwalk traverses swamp and marsh wetlands it has interpretive signs, an observation blind and tower, and wheelchair accessible loop
2 multi-use trails allow walking, jogging or biking
Trail • 6 Miles • Easy -- Mouse Trail • 3 Miles • Easy
Picnic areas with tables and grills can be found adjacent to the beach areas
6 shelters can be reserved online or by calling 866-644-6727 • Reservations can be up to 1 year in advance
ADA accessible -- Open 18' x 20' shelter -- Grass surface at #1, 2, 3, & 4 • sand surface at #5 & 6 -- 6 picnic tables -- Small gas grill is available at #1, 2, 3, &4 -- Electric is not provided -- Close to modern restrooms, the inland & Lake Erie beaches & the waterslide
Lake Erie known as the "walleye capital of the world" offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the midwest
Great catches of walleye, channel catfish, freshwater drum, smallmouth bass and yellow perch delight the fisherman
Valid Ohio fishing license is required
All wildlife regulations apply
32-slip marina on Lake Erie has dockage available by reservation
57-acre inland lake in the park is suitable for sailing, canoeing and other non-motorized boat use
Personal watercraft and ocean kayaks can be rented on the Lake Erie beach from Memorial Day through Labor Day
2 sand beaches, on the Lake Erie shore & along the park's inland lake -- A concession area and changing booths are provided -- A large lakeside amphitheater lies between the two beaches
Maumee Bay's unique 18-hole "Scottish Links" style golf course has low, rolling mounds, bent grass fairways, greens and tees, numerous sand bunkers and ponds -- A golf pro-shop is in operation with a PGA certified professional on staff
Trautman Nature Center is equipped with inter-active displays, a programming auditorium, research laboratory and viewing windows -- State-of-the-art nature center staffed by a year-round naturalist -- Boardwalk trail is adjacent to the nature center
Cross-country skiing is permitted on the Mouse Trail -- Winter nature walks -- Ice skating -- Sledding on the area's top rated sledding hill
More To Do
Bike rental, basketball and volleyball courts are also available in day-use areas of the park -- Butterfly gazebo
3 national wildlife refuges are located within a short distance of the park, Cedar Point, West Sister and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuges. Information may be obtained by calling 419-898-0014.
Crane Creek Wildlife Experiment Station and Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area are located 15 miles east of Maumee Bay
2 state nature preserves, Louis W. Campbell and Irwin Prairie, are operated by ODNR's Division of Natural Areas and Preserves and are located within an hour drive of the park.
Cedar Point Amusement Park, near Sandusky, is a 90-minute drive from the park
Within a 30 minute drive are Fifth-Third Field, home of AAA baseball's best-known team, the Toledo Mudhens, the Toledo Zoo, or enjoy an interesting change of pace at the Toledo Museum of Art.
For additional information on area attractions, visit the Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau, or the Ohio Division of Tourism
1400 State Park Road, Oregon, Ohio 43616-5764More Info