Disclosure: I participated in a recent press trip of several Ohio State Parks and Lodges. I was provided with free accommodations, meals and other perks during our trip. All opinions expressed are my own.
The 1,850-acre Maumee Bay State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Located in northwest Ohio, the park is just a short distance by car from Toledo, which makes it a perfect combination of both a city and nature vacation. Even though the state park offers camping sites, I prefer “roughing” it in a hotel (thank you Ohio State Park Lodges!). Maumee Bay State Park Lodge located along the shores of Lake Erie inside the state park, offers both hotel room and cottage accommodations. What makes Maumee Bay unique is that park activities are within close walking distance from the lodge, which makes for double the fun!
Maumee Bay State Park Lodge has 120 guest rooms, most with a private balcony or patio. Be sure to ask for a lake view room, so you don’t miss out on the beautiful sunsets and sunrises. For larger families, there are two and four bedroom fully furnished cottages on site, with a limited number that are also pet friendly. I love that many of the cottages are situated in pairs, which is convenient for multiple families travelling together.
If you love water, Maumee Bay is the place to be. Water activities include:
- Indoor and outdoor pools at Maumee Bay lodge
- Mini indoor splash pad at the lodge, perfect for year-round fun
- 2 public beaches – one along the shores of Lake Erie (1,500 feet beachfront), the other along the park’s inland lake
- Public watercraft rentals available on Erie beach
- Beachfront activities including beach volleyball
- Paddleboat and canoe rentals at the lodge
- Full service marina at Maumee Bay State Park
- Fishing on Lake Erie and inland lake
If water isn’t your thing, there are many other recreational activities including:
- 10 miles of hiking trails, perfect for cycling (bike rentals available from the lodge)
- 2-mile scenic boardwalk trail that are perfect for bird and wildlife watching
- Geocaching; there are at least 7 caches located inside Maumee Bay State Park with navigational units available for rent from the lodge
- 18-hole “Scottish Links” style public golf course
- Trautman nature center has many hands-on exhibits and opportunities to meet animals up close including the butterfly pavilion where Monarch butterflies are raised, tagged and released
- Games room, children’s soft play area and outdoor playground at the lodge
- Fitness center, sauna and racquetball courts located inside the lodge
Bird watching in Ohio is huge. Locals and bird enthusiasts from afar travel to the area each spring and fall to observe migrating birds like warblers, waterbirds and bald eagles in their natural, wild habitat. Just how big is Maumee Bay for bird watching? So big that Maumee Bay State Lodge was headquarters to the 2014 “Biggest Week in American Birding”, an annual event that includes workshops, field trips and presentations from experts of the birding world.
Our group dined surf ‘n’ turf style under the stars and let me tell you how beautiful the setting was on this particular warm September evening (minus the mosquitoes). Watching the sunset by the shore of Lake Erie was truly spectacular. Our delicious meal consisted of lobster, steak and chicken with GMO free corn that came directly from a nearby farm. Everything about our meal was exquisite. Xanterra resort (operates Ohio State Park Lodges) chefs use as much fresh, local produce as possible, which really makes a difference in the taste of the food. It’s easy to see why many couples have chosen to have their wedding on the gorgeous grounds of Maumee Bay Lodge.
One interesting point worth mentioning: then Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama stayed at Maumee Bay Lodge back in 2008 to prepare for his final debate against Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain. The rest shall we say is history.
Last but not least, we want to thank Patrick Czarny, General Manager of Maumee Bay Lodge for our fabulous stay. Patrick took our group on a fun golf cart tour of the Maumee Bay grounds and being that we were on a tight schedule, the tour really gave us an excellent perspective of all the activities both the lodge and the state park has to offer. Patrick has been with the lodge for many years and after all that time, his love and enthusiasm for Maumee Bay is clearly evident. Thanks Patrick!
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About Wendy Morelli
Wendy loves her 2 kids and her iPhone, not necessarily always in that order. She is an app obsessed mom who loves everything tech and is (unfortunately) old enough to remember the brick Motorola cell phone and the Commodore computer. Her love for technology stems back to the 10+ years of working for technology based companies. Wendy's alter ego, "AppHipMom" has been featured in Canadian Family, iVillage, Women in Biz, EverythingMom, BlogHer and Savvy Mom.