MAUMEE BAY STATE PARK
Maumee Bay State Park offers not only the finest of recreational facilities in the Midwest, but also a unique natural environment created by the convergence of the land and Lake Erie. The lodge, cottages and golf course are nestled among the scenic meadows, wet woods and lush marshes teeming with wildlife. The balance of recreational facilities with the natural world gives visitors a diverse experience in a coastal environment.
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.
The history 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.
The wetlands 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.
Several prairies exist in the park that offer interpretive experiences for those visitors interested in the various species and ecosystems found there. Ring-necked pheasants densely populate the meadow areas of the park.
The Lake 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.
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.
For many 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 does not have an annual pass and does not charge entrance fees to state parks.
Water, acresGreat Lake
Hiking Trail, miles10
CampingElectric Sites, #252
Rent-A-Camp Sites, #3
AccommodationsLodge Rooms, #120
Family Cottages, #24
Indoor Swimming Poolyes
Outdoor Swimming Poolyes
The park boasts a modern family campground with 256 sites. The campground is equipped with showerhouses, flush toilets, electricity and playground equipment. 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. Rent-A-Camp units consisting of a tent, dining fly, cooler, cook stove and other equipment can be rented during the summer months. Five miles of asphalt "bicycle/pedestrian" trails provide access to most of the day-use areas.
The deluxe cottages at the park are nestled among scenic wetlands and a picturesque golf course. The cottages are 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.
Ohio's newest 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.
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. Lessons and golf outings can be arranged.