The boardwalk at Maumee Bay State Park is one of my favorites in the state. When we are checking out various parks and preserves in the northwest corner of Ohio, we often stay at the lodge in Maumee Bay. And despite having hiked for much of day, about 40 to 45 minutes before dusk we will head out to the boardwalk for an evening stroll. More times than not, we will see wildlife not far from the boardwalk.
It looks like the fawn above is a little buck; you can just make out the beginning antler buds on the top of his head. Deer are a relatively common sight this time of day. The fawn’s mother was not far away.
During our stay we also got to observe a doe nursing her young.
I managed to capture this in the short video below (or you can view it directly at Vimeo).
We also caught a raccoon navigating his way through this wet area on the boardwalk.
He wasn’t the only animal using the boardwalk to travel through this wetland area. We also came across the tiny gartersnake below. It is nonvenomous.
We caught sight of a muskrat browsing right beside the boardwalk, but it skedaddled under the boardwalk before I could snap a photo of it.
Because this is a wetland area, there are often large, wading birds hunting for food near the boardwalk.
The green stuff floating on top of the water is called duckweed. As the name suggests, this serves as food for ducks, but also for other animals. It is 20 to 40% protein.
We also saw egrets.
Both herons and egrets are great fish hunters, but they will eat amphibians, too, like the frog below.
And of course there were dragonflies darting about. You may not realize this, but dragonflies are the most successful predators in the animal kingdom, catching more than 95% of the prey that they pursue.
The hawk portion of this dragonfly’s name is a tribute to the fact that it is a little, aerial predator. In this particular species of dragonfly, the male and female have completely different coloration.
In case you haven’t been to the boardwalk, here are photos taken along the way to give you a feel for the place.
A favorite destination is an observation deck near the Lake Erie shoreline. You can see it in the distance with the pathway surrounded by reed grass.
The following photos were taken from the top of the observation deck looking out on the surrounding area. In the one immediately below, I’m look out towards Lake Erie.
Below I’m turning away from Lake Erie and looking over the grassy marshland.
As I mentioned we were exploring the boardwalk shortly before dusk, so you might think there would be lots of mosquitoes. However, we typically spray DEET™ onto our exposed skin before outings, and we weren’t troubled by mosquitoes.
We returned back to the lodge before dark so we could enjoy the sunset.
- 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 official website and for information on nearby parks and preserves.
- TrekOhio: Maumee Bay State Park: The Boardwalk — This was our initial review of Maumee Bay State Park based on a spring-time visit with perhaps a little more emphasis on the birds.
- TrekOhio: Ohio’s 15 species of frogs and toads at a glance — we published this page to help people identify frogs and toads.
- TrekOhio: Snake Species of Ohio at a Glance — Another page that we published to help people identify snakes.
- TrekOhio: Dragonflies — Some common dragonfly species
- NY Times: Nature’s Drone, Pretty and Deadly — Discusses the amazing success rate of dragonflies as predators.
- TrekOhio: Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve — Discusses the fact that reed grass tends to dominate brackish marshes, and explains why the land around Lake Erie is a bit salty.
- Wikipedia: Lemna minor — Duckweed
- 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