Maumee Bay State Park's landscape is a unique environment created by the convergence of the land and Lake Erie. A resort lodge, cabins, and golf course are nestled among scenic meadows, wet woods, and lush marshes. More than 300 bird species have been observed here. Families will enjoy the campground, inland lake, nature center, accessible boardwalk trail, and the Storybook Trail.
A 7-lane archery range with a combination of static bag and 3D targets is open every day, sunrise to sunset, for free. Shooters are reminded to bring their own equipment; only field points are allowed, no broadheads.
A 57-acre inland lake in the park is suitable for sailing, canoeing, and other non-motorized boat use.
Lake Erie dockage is available May to October at the Maumee Bay Lodge Marina, managed by the Lodge.
- 24 overnight slips with electric and water can be reserved up to a year in advance
- 7 transient day-use slips available on a first come, first serve basis
- All slips accommodate boats up to 15’ width and 50’ length
- Pump-out service
- ADA accessible slips available
- No fuel; no launch ramp.
Lake Erie, known as the "walleye capital of the world," offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the Midwest. Great catches of walleye, channel catfish, freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch delight anglers.
- The man-made inland lake offers good pan fishing opportunities with two wheelchair accessible fishing piers.
- A small pond located near parking area #7 is designated as a kid-friendly family fishing area.
- Ohio fishing regulations apply.
- A valid Ohio fishing license is required (16 and older).
Maumee Bay State Park Golf Course has low, rolling mounds, bent grass fairways, greens and tees, and numerous sand bunkers and ponds. A golf pro-shop offers a PGA-certified professional on staff.
Hunting is not permitted in the state park, however, Mallard Club Marsh Wildlife Area is adjacent to the park.
Picnic areas with tables and grills are adjacent to the beach areas.
Located south of the Quilter Lodge in front of the tennis courts, this Storybook Trail presents a children's story in segments along a short path. The storybook presented along the trail changes throughout the year. As you walk the mowed path through the wet meadow, you can hear our native frogs and see many species of butterflies or the occasional white-tailed deer in the field of summer wildflowers. At the beginning of the trail is a Free Little Library where you can choose to take a book home or leave one for a fellow visitor.
- Storybook Trail — 0.3 mile; easy; mowed path
- Find more Ohio State Park Storybook Trails
- Find more Storybook Trails in Ohio
The park features two sand beaches — on the Lake Erie shore and along the park's inland lake. Restrooms and outdoor showers are provided between the two beaches. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are not permitted on swimming beaches.
- BeachGuard — water quality reports, Memorial Day to Labor Day, from Ohio Dept. of Health
Maumee Bay State Park is home to several miles of trails winding through swamp and marsh wetlands, open meadows, ponds and beaches. Enjoy great views of Lake Erie while you hike or bike.
- Bike Path (biking, walking, jogging) — 5 miles; paved, connects to City of Oregon Bike Trail
- Interpretive Boardwalk (hiking) — 2 miles; ADA accessible
- Mouse Trail (hiking, cross-country skiing) — 2.5 miles; easy
- Multi-use Trail — 2.5 miles
- Storybook Trail (hiking) — 0.3 mile; easy; mowed path
Under the proper winter conditions, park guests can enjoy cross-country skiing on the Mouse Trail, winter nature hikes, ice skating, and sledding on the area's top-rated sledding hill.
More to Do
- Boat and bike rental
- Basketball, volleyball, and pickleball courts
- Butterfly gazebo is near the Nature Center
Maumee Bay Lodge offers Guest Rooms, Cabins, and Marina Slips for overnight stays. The guest rooms each have a private balcony overlooking the Maumee Bay of Lake Erie. The cabins provide scenic views of the golf course and wetlands.
Maumee Bay State Park Campground is a large campground and offers Full-hookup and Electric sites. Pets are permitted on designated sites. Reservations are required and can be made six months in advance, online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
History & Natural Features
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 (120 miles long and 30-40 miles wide). This area became known as the Great Black Swamp due to the color of the soil and dark shade beneath the trees. Native Americans settled only near the well-drained lands beside the Maumee River and its tributaries.
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 provided 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.
Although the Great Black Swamp has been compared to the Florida Everglades, today only a thin strip of coastal wetlands remain along Lake Erie from Maumee Bay to Sandusky. The lake bed beneath Maumee Bay was itself once part of this great wetland, but rising lake levels inundated it until it became open water. Storms have occasionally flooded the inland areas around Maumee Bay, especially since the mid-20th century. Maumee Bay State Park is built on the site of the former Niles Beach, a community of vacation cottages that was devastated in a 1972 storm and never rebuilt. Today, offshore breakwaters protect the beach.
Acquisition of park lands 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. This precious gift is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world and it reflects the diverse natural heritage of Ohio.
The history of Lake Erie began with the glacial period known as the Pleistocene. Massive sheets of ice gouged and scoured the bedrock of Ohio. Testimony of the ice's force is found throughout the lake area. Small scratches in the rock surface known as glacial striations are common, while major grooves are rare but awesome.
Thirteen thousand years ago, as the last ice sheet receded from northern Ohio, the meltwaters formed a lake that was a precursor to our Lake Erie. As the ice gradually receded, the meltwaters found various outlets across Indiana or Michigan and the ancestral lake went through several phases. Each phase was larger and higher than today’s Lake Erie –and stretched from western New York to as far west as Fort Wayne, Indiana. These lakes persisted for thousands of years, and their beds, made up of clays and silts left behind by the glaciers, were gradually planed flat by waves and blanketed by deposits of mud. As the lakes receded to form modern Lake Erie, they exposed a great, mostly flat plain, up to 120 miles long and up to 30 to 40 miles wide, from roughly Sandusky to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This plain was not dry; the flat, clayey soils held moisture and supported the formation of a vast wetland. Settlers came to know this area as the Great Black Swamp, due to the color of the marshy soil and the dark shade beneath the trees. Native Americans had settled only near the well-drained lands beside the Maumee River and its tributaries
The wetlands of the Maumee Bay area offer a vivid array of natural wonders. Wetlands contain more species of wildlife than any other habitat type including fox snake, northern water snake, painted turtle, chorus frog, green frog, spotted salamander, raccoon, muskrat, dragonfly, caddis fly, and water striders. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded with shorebirds such as snipe, great blue heron, common gallinule and ring-billed gulls residing with waterfowl including Canada geese, pintails, redheads, and ruddy ducks. Songbirds include the red-winged blackbird, yellow warbler, killdeer and swamp sparrow. Spring migration brings many others including the colorful warblers. The plant life is diverse as well. Cattails, buttonbush, phragmites, bur-reed, cottonwood and black willow are just a few examples of the marsh plants at the park.
In addition to marsh and swamp wetlands, several prairies add more diversity to the landscape. Ring-necked pheasants densely populate the meadow areas of the park.
The Lake Erie shoreline sets the stage for the comeback of the bald eagle in Ohio. The number of nesting pairs continues to increase along the western basin of Lake Erie.