Description - 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 and became known as the Great Black Swamp due to the color of the soil and dark shade beneath the trees. 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.
Copyright: - Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Maumee Bay State Park
Acquisition of parklands began in 1974 with matching funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Maumee Bay officially became a state park in 1975.
- Maumee Bay State Park is a tribute to 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.
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.
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.
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 that 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 Mouse Trail is a 3-mile diverse trail winding through meadows and young woodlands. Adjacent to the nature center, a 2-mile boardwalk traversing swamp and marsh wetlands has interpretive signs, an observation blind and tower, and wheelchair accessible loop.
Lake Erie offers unlimited opportunities for boaters. An inland lake in the park is suitable for sailing, canoeing and other non-motorized boat use. Canoes, paddleboats and row boats are available for rent. Waverunners can be rented on the Lake Erie beach. Known as the "walleye capital of the world," Lake Erie offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the Midwest. Besides walleye, other great catches include channel catfish, freshwater drum, smallmouth bass and yellow perch. The man-made inland lake near the lodge offers good pan fishing opportunities.
In addition to the lodge's pools (for lodge and cottage guests), the park boasts two sand beaches. One beach is located on the Lake Erie shore while the other lines the park's inland lake. A concession area and changing booths are provided. A large lakeside amphitheater lies between the two beaches. Picnic areas with tables and grills can be found adjacent to the beach areas.
A state-of-the-art nature center staffed by a year-round naturalist is located in the park. The Trautman Nature Center is equipped with interactive displays, a programming auditorium, research laboratory and viewing windows. In addition, a remote video monitoring system transmits wetland activity back to the center so that persons of all abilities can experience a wetland.
This park invites you to the thrills and spills of winter activity. Cross-country skiing, winter nature walks, ice skating and sledding on the area's top rated sledding hill await you.
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.
Hunting is permitted in adjacent Mallard Club Marsh Wildlife Area. A valid Ohio fishing and / or hunting license is required. All wildlife regulations apply. Three national wildlife refuges exist in Ohio and they are all within a short distance of the park: Ottawa, West Sister and Cedar Point.
Recreation - Situated on a parcel that is 1,450 acres large and access to both Lake Erie and a small inland lake of 100 acres, Maumee Bay State Park is a relaxing, scenic getaway. Day use activities include fishing, hiking, biking, picnicking, a variety of swimming choices, nature study, golfing, unlimited boating, paddlesports, bird watching, hunting, sledding, ice skating, cross-country skiing and more. Overnight accommodations include lodge rooms, resort cottages, family camping, pet camping, and yurts.
Climate - This state has four distinct seasons and a brilliant fall foliage display in it southern woods during mid October. Winter lasts from December through February with average temperatures near 25 degrees F. Low temperatures dip to single digits, but do not often drop below zero. Northern regions of the state receive average snowfall amounts of 55 inches, while the central and southern regions of the state receive lesser amounts with averages near 30 inches. This difference is caused by lake-affect moisture patterns.
Spring temperatures begin to warm the landscapes of Ohio by mid March and are in full swing by April. Temperatures range from 40 through 70 degrees F through the spring months. This season often brings the most rainfall, before the drying heat of summer. Summer can be extremely hot and humid in the interior of Ohio. Temperatures reach above 90 degrees F frequently through July and August. Cooler fall temperatures don't reach the region until mid to late September. This is a pleasant time to visit as the air is crisp with low humidity levels. Ohio's annual precipitation usually reaches slightly above 50 inches.
Located on the shores of Lake Erie, Maumee Bay State Park may be reached from Cedar Point Road, east of Toledo.