I will never forget our first time at Maumee Bay State Park, four years ago. I booked a weekend as a Christmas present so we could participate in the Biggest Week in American Birding. We were new birders, and had little idea of what to expect other than the high praise heaped by more experienced birders. As we exited off the highway and wound through industrial Toledo, my skepticism increased. The miles remaining on my navigation app continued to decrease but we still drove past and through mills and factories. No way was this going to the wild, nature weekend I had hoped. Yet we enjoyed the weekend enough to return ever year. In fact, it has become one of our favorite parks in the state.
All 252 sites in the park feature electricity. I believe sites ___ now feature 50 amps. I mention it because these seem to be the sites that fill first. We wondered for a while what others knew that we didn’t when those loops were packed while others remained empty.
Frankly, I don’t think there is a bad site in this campground. One of my favorite things about this place is the generous spacing between the sites. Most of the sites also feature landscaping that obscures the view of the neighbors. For a campground with few trees, there really is a sense of relative seclusion. For this trip, we were at site 57. We have been at sites 5 and 138 previously. All were lovely.
Bathrooms are standard. Unfortunately, we lost the pictures due to a phone accident. But they are clean.
The check-in and check-out processes here seem time-tested. A large parking parking lot provides plenty of space for those walking to the camp-store. Be prepared to wait to dump on the way out. However, a volunteer monitors the traffic and folks seem happy to go with the flow (pun intended). Additionally, the park provides hoses at the dump stations for quicker turnover.
If I had a complaint about the campground, it would be about the grass. There are no tent-pads here and the grass is very lush. Arriving too long after a mowing can result in ankle deep grass. This is uncomfortable for me, mostly because I am pretty confident I got a tick here a couple years ago. Since then, we have been diligent about wearing bug spray and checking for ticks multiple times per day.
The other downfall of the campground, for us, is the lack of local hiking trails. Two miles of boardwalk branch off the Nature Center/Lodge area and are amazing for nature watching. A brief evening hike yielded spawning carp, deers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, muskrats, Soras, a Marsh Wren, and an Eastern Screech-owl. Paved routes connect multiple areas of the park, but there are no good, decent length trails that I am aware of.
From our brief explorations around the park, the primary attraction is (not surprisingly) the beach. And it was very nice. Behind the lodge, land ends in a stepped wall descending to the water for a perfect fishing area. The lodge itself seems first class, but the golf course looked like it could use a bit of maintenance.
Firewood and other supplies were available at the camp store, but we prefer the wood from the Sunoco located about a mile away. This trip, we also took advantage of the pizza delivery from Joe’s Pizza Kitchen. We called in the order when we arrived at the campground and we had a hot dinner ready by the time we finished setting up! Next year, we may go pick up the pizza since the pizzeria is located in the same gas station that has the good firewood.