Posted in Birds, Hiking, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Maumee Bay State Park: The Boardwalk

Because Maumee Bay State Park is the site of one of our state’s lodge and conference centers, it offers a number of recreational opportunities. But as a nature lover, one of my favorite activities there was walking the 2-mile boardwalk through a wetland bordering Lake Erie. We visited in May while staying in the lodge. Our strolls along the boardwalk were relaxing and peaceful. They were also an opportunity to do some birdwatching and to see other wildlife like deer.

Sunset view from the boardwalk at Maumee Bay.

We began the boardwalk at the entrance near the park’s nature center. The nature center is near the lodge and shares a parking lot with it. It is worth mentioning that there are public restrooms to the rear of the nature center that remain open after the nature center has closed.

The nature center is on the left and the gazebo on the right is used to raise monarch butterflies.

The nature center has a number of wildlife exhibits, including this unusual albino fox snake (or more accurately an “amelanistic” snake, one lacking in melanin).

A rare, albino fox snake (Pantherophis gloydi)
This is what the boardwalk looks like shortly after going beyond the nature center.

Shortly after getting on the boardwalk, you have the choice between two loops. The shorter loop is billed as being fully accessible. We chose to do the longer loop each time that we visited, and I’ll note that I did see individuals using wheelchairs and pushing strollers on the longer loop.

From the boardwalk, we could see yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus); it’s non-native, but pretty.
More flowers visible from the boardwalk. I believe these are some sort of columbine.

Most of the boardwalk passed through a marsh (a wetland with grass-like vegetation), but we were often near the border of a woods, and at times the boardwalk entered into the woods.

Tall grass from last year
Passing near a tree
Into the woods

If you are into bird watching, this is a great place to do it. If you are not into bird watching, it was pleasant just listening to the bird calls and the woodpeckers drumming as we walked along the boardwalk.

An eagle flying over the boardwalk
Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
An Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea); he’s doing his “Angry Bird” face

Being a wetland and all, it would appear that the boardwalk at Maumee Bay was the seat of the Red-winged blackbird empire. There were zillions of them.

Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
The nature center keeps a list of birds seen each day on a white board.

We saw deer there three days in a row, so there would appear to be no shortage of them. Each year the bucks have to re-grow their antlers. Their new antlers start out as fuzzy, stubby, little things.

“You can’t see me, because I’m hiding.”
This buck’s antlers are a little more developed.
A fox squirrel (Sciurus niger); he’s spying on us.

There is a side trail from the loop that leads to an observation tower near Lake Erie.

The observation tower
Looking from the observation tower toward the boardwalk that brought us here.
The view from the observation tower toward Lake Erie.
There is a breakwater at the shoreline.

This area offered some pretty views of sunset, but our visit was in late May and we were untroubled by mosquitoes. I am guessing if you were out here near dusk in the summer that it would be a good idea to apply some DEET beforehand.

Setting sun peeking through clouds over Lake Erie
Additional information
  • TrekOhio: Lucas County Parks & Nature Preserves — This is the county where Maumee Bay State Park is located; check out this page for links to the park’s official site and for information on nearby parks and preserves.

Maumee Bay State Park
  • Address: 1400 State Park Rd #1, Oregon, OH 43618–9532
  • GPS Coordinates: 41.683598,-83.367756
  • Google Maps: View on map or get directions

More on Lucas County

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

5 thoughts on “Maumee Bay State Park: The Boardwalk

  1. The board walk is great. I built this back I think 91-92 year. I was part of a spike crew that worked 7 days a week 5am to 5pm. with a crew of 8-10 people. hard work but was awesome experience.

  2. Looks like I need to pay a visit there next year Deb!! The boardwalk looks relaxing as you said. Another wonderful review of what Ohio has to offer in outdoor experiences.

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