Posted in Birds, Northwestern Ohio, Park review

Metzger Marsh State Wildlife Area

Metzger Marsh is a 558 acre marsh bordered by Lake Erie, the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, and a canal used by private watercraft. It is a site ideal for fishing and bird watching. It’s located between Maumee Bay State Park and Magee Marsh Wildlife Area.

Egrets wading through Metzger Marsh

We ended a vacation day in northwest Ohio with a post dinner drive out to Metzger Marsh. From the entrance on Bono Road, we passed a parking lot and a boat launch. An access road – Metzger Marsh State Road, parallels the marsh on one side and a canal on the other. It led out to a fishing pier on Lake Erie. There are four large pull-offs on the access road, with nice views of the marsh.

At Metzger Marsh there are numerous sites to park along the road, so you can stop and do some bird watching or fishing. In this photo the canal is on the left and the marsh is on the right.
Marsh viewed from the dike separating Lake Erie from the marsh.

From the pull-offs, we saw a blue heron, numerous egrets fishing, and the ever-present red-wing blackbirds. The marsh is hugely popular with birdwatchers during the spring and fall migrations. Bald eagles are frequently seen at the marsh.

Egret in breeding plumage
A male wood duck leads his mate through the marsh.
Red-winged blackbird
Great Blue Heron fishing in the canal

We also saw a number of fisherman on land, in the marsh wearing waders, and on small boats.

A father and son go fishing together.
Boating in the marsh

The access area parallels the canal until both reach Lake Erie. On the opposite side of the canal inlet is a large, stone breakwater. On the access road’s side of the canal inlet is a parking lot, port-a-john, and a long, concrete fishing pier that extends into Lake Erie. There is also a long, stone-lined dike that separates the marsh from Lake Erie. A dirt road (for pedestrians) follows the top of the dike. Both sightseers and fisherman make use of the dike.

Stone breakwater on the other side of the canal’s inlet.
Gull: “Very nice of the humans to build these elaborate perches.”
Taking in the view from his perch.
Fishing pier on our side of the canal’s inlet
This is the dike that separates Lake Erie on the left from the marsh on the right.
The side of the dike facing Lake Erie
Birdsfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus); it was growing along the dike facing the marsh.
Additional information


Take SR-2 to Bono Rd. Follow Bono Rd 1/2 mile to the entrance at the boat launch area. Follow the access road (Metzger Marsh State Road) to the fishing pier. The marsh will be along the road on the right.

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© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

4 thoughts on “Metzger Marsh State Wildlife Area

  1. What a cool marsh to visit! You can never complain when you get to drive through habitats like this to soak in the beauty and stop for photo ops. Great shots, the landscapes are beautiful!

    1. Thanks! Since we typically go hiking it was interesting to be able to see so much nature without walking around. This could be a nice destination for people who love nature, but have mobility issues.

  2. It was not only marsh, but much, much more. I was surprised about the diversity of the area. The third photo from the end is my favorite. BTW, Lotus corniculatus is in Finland too. Great, enjoyable post.

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