Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge


Pileated Woodpecker, Rose Breasted Grossbeak and Tree Swallow by Dave Lengyel

The Refuge is located in Oak Harbor, Ohio, 15 miles east of Toledo on the shore of Lake Erie. Established in 1961, it contains approximately 6000 acres. It is a major resting area of many migratory birds. The Refuge is a small part of the original Great Black Swamp that covered 300,000 acres. The Swamp was drained by farmers and loggers in the early 1900s.

In the April/May 2010 National Wildlife Magazine, experts chose the top spring birding spots. One of the experts, Kenn Kaufman, chose the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area/Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. He says it is the warbler capital of the world and among the top five spring birding destinations in North America.

The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is open all year from dawn to dusk. There are 9 miles of hiking trails and special auto tours twice a year.