Maumee Bay State Park, located in Oregon, truly offers something for everyone.
The park boasts a variety of easily accessible bird habitats, including the open waters of Maumee Bay, a sand beach, inland ponds, a swamp forest, a wetland meadow, an upland meadow and cottonwood/hawthorn/dogwood thickets.
The state-of-the-art Trautman Nature Center, which is naturalist-staffed and open five days a week, features information about native wildlife, interactive displays and a working lab with live animals on display.
A two-mile elevated boardwalk trail winds through 80 acres of wetland habitat, perfect for spotting migrating songbirds. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded, including shorebirds and waterfowl. Spring migration brings many others including the colorful warblers. Significantly, Ohio’s bald eagle population is slowly growing in the western basin of Lake Erie, with recent reports of nesting pairs in the area.
The plant life is diverse as well. Cattails, buttonbush, bur-reed, cottonwood and black willow are just a few examples of the marsh plants at the park.
There are several prairies in the park that offer interpretive experiences for visitors interested in the various species and ecosystems found there.
In addition, the Lake Erie shoreline sets the backdrop for some of the finest recreational facilities in the Midwest.
The Quilter Lodge at the Maumee Bay Resort and Conference Center sits along the shore of Lake Erie. A two-story native stone fireplace welcomes guests to a massive beam and glass lobby designed to blend with the natural elements of the park. The guestrooms with private balconies/patios provide spectacular views of the surrounding park. The lodge also offers racquetball courts, a game room, saunas, whirlpools, indoor and outdoor pools, conference and meeting rooms, a dining room and lounge, and a snack bar. Deluxe cottages feature fireplaces and modern amenities adjacent to the wetlands or the lush greens of the golf course.
The park boasts a welcoming family campground equipped with showerhouses, flush toilets, electricity and playground equipment. Pet camping is also permitted. Five miles of asphalt “bicycle/pedestrian” trails provide access to most of the day-use areas.
Developed hiking trails in the park include the Mouse Trail, a three-mile multi-use trail winding through meadows and young woodlands, and several miles of paved combination trails for bicycling and cross-country skiing. Hikers will discover acres of meadow, marshland and woodland. A two-mile boardwalk traversing swamp and marsh wetlands has interpretive signs, an observation blind and tower, and a wheelchair accessible loop.
In addition to the lodge’s pools (for lodge and cottage guests), the park boasts two sand beaches - one located on the Lake Erie shore and another lining the park’s inland lake. The beaches offer a concession area and changing booths for visitors’ convenience. A large lakeside amphitheater lies between the two beaches. Picnic areas with tables and grills can be found adjacent to the beach areas.
Lake Erie, known as the “walleye capital of the world,” offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the Midwest. The man-made inland lake near the lodge offers good pan fishing opportunities. Controlled hunting is permitted in adjacent Mallard Club Marsh Wildlife Area. A valid Ohio fishing and/or hunting license is required; all wildlife regulations apply.
Lake Erie offers unlimited opportunities for boaters. A 57-acre inland lake in the park is suitable for sailing, canoeing and other non-motorized boat use. Canoes, paddle boats and row boats are available for rent. Waverunners can be rented on the Lake Erie beach.
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 pro-shop is in operation with a PGA-certified professional on staff. Lessons and golf outings can be arranged.
During cold-weather months, the park is teeming with the thrills and spills of winter activity, including cross-country skiing, winter nature walks, ice skating and sledding.
Maumee Bay State Park is located at 1400 State Park Rd. For more information about the park, call 419-836-7758. For information about the Resort and Conference Center, call 419-836-1466 (lodge front desk); 800-282-7275 lodge/cottage reservations or visit http://www.maumeebayresort.com/