Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

Ohio

(419) 898-0014

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to hike, bike, and witness wildlife. It was established in 1961 to preserve habitat for migrating birds. Staff at the refuge also manage Cedar Point and West Sister Island refuges. The three refuges together now protect approximately 9,000 acres of habitat and some of the last remnants of the "Great Black Swamp" in the heart of the Lake Erie marshes. The Lake Erie Marsh Region has historically been important to fish, migratory waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds. Up to 70 percent of the Mississippi Flyway population of black ducks can be found in the Lake Erie marshes during the fall migration. Large numbers of migrating songbirds stop in the area to rest during their spring migration. This amazing wildlife spectacle attracts a large number of visitors from across the country. Ottawa Refuge has been designated as a site of regional significance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. In 2002, "Birders World" readers voted the refuge as one of their Top 15 favorite spots to see birds, and the American Bird Conservancy has identified the refuge as an Important Bird Area.

Map of Ottawa NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 41.611335, -83.202381

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Activities

  • Bird Watching

    Ottawa Refuge has been designated as a site of regional significance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. In 2002, "Birders World" readers voted the refuge as one of their Top 15 favorite spots to see birds, and the American Bird Conservancy has identified the refuge as an Important Bird Area.

  • Bicycling

    This park offers 10 miles of gravel/grass trails, a hike the dikes program, and shuttle service for disabled visitors.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The refuge offers a monthly auto tour, weather permitting. Travel 7 miles through normally closed areas of the refuge. Be sure to pick up an auto tour guide at the beginning of the route. Auto tour guides are updated monthly and tell you where to look for recent sightings. The gate is open from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Travel the route at your own pace. The exit gate closes at 5:30 p.m.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed in designated areas only.

  • Hiking

    This park offers 10 miles of gravel/grass trails, a hike the dikes program, and shuttle service for disabled visitors.

  • Hunting

    This park has a controlled Waterfowl and Deer Hunt. Youth and Adult waterfowl hunting is permitted by permit only. 12 blinds are hunted on the perimeter of the Refuge Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday until noon. Handicapped-accessible blinds are available. Hiking trail areas are excluded from waterfowl hunts and remain open to the general public.

    Hunting is by permit only. Archery, Youth, and Shotgun controlled hunts are conducted on Ottawa NWR to manage white-tailed deer populations and provide recreational hunting opportunities. Handicapped-accessible blinds are available.

  • Wildlife Watching

    This park has a handicap accessible observation platform, a wildlife photo contest, and a photo blind within the park.

Seasonality/Weather

This park is open year-round during the daytime only. Pets must be on a leash under the owner's control at all times.

Directions

Driving

The refuge entrance is located 15 miles east of Toledo/Oregon and 16 miles west of Port Clinton on State Route 2. From I80/90 westbound, take exit 91; follow State Route 19 north to State Route 2; follow State Route 2 west 3 miles to the entrance road on the right. From I80/90 eastbound, take exit 81; follow State Route 105 east to State Route 590; follow State Route 590 north to State Route 2; follow State Route 2 east 2 miles to the entrance road on the left. The half-mile entrance road is located on the north side of State Route 2.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(419) 898-0014

Links