Our first stop after leaving Pennsylvania was at Maumee Bay State Park in northwest Ohio. The park is situated along Lake Erie just outside of Toledo and was an unexpected gem. Due to Memorial Day weekend, we stopped here for 1 night before moving on to the campground where we would spend the holiday. However, as soon as we pulled in, we started wishing we were staying longer.
As we were backing in to our space, I saw a bird almost fly into the truck. Will and I use our phones (whenever possible) when we are backing up to facilitate communication, so I quickly told him to roll up the windows because that is truly the last thing we would need. However, once we got set up, we noticed the little birds more and more. We were in the middle of a group of yellow warblers who were fascinated by the windows and mirrors on the truck. On multiple occasions during our stay, we found them perched on the door looking in the mirror. A truly amusing delight.
Our site only had electric hookup, but it was one of the nicest spots we have had on this journey. Each spot was set off from those around it with a small patch of trees and bushes, making each site incredibly private (especially now that the vegetation is in full force). In addition to the privacy, we had an actual yard that was bigger than most of the entire sites we have had. The lush green grass went from our door to the edge of the trees and was the perfect place for Bird and Daisy to play and for us to break out the bubble machine, which was not surprisingly a huge hit.
We arrived midafternoon, and once we got settled, we were itching to explore the rest of the park. Due to a wrong turn getting to the campground, we had already driven through much of the park, but looking at the map, we knew there were plenty of hiking trails that we could access from the campground, so we set off.
From our loop of the campground, we walked past a couple of ponds before reaching the trail. We opted to piece together several smaller trails, making a nice loop. The first stretch of the hike took us straight out to the lake. We walked for a short while along the rocky shore just enjoying the water.
After that stretch, we turned away from the lake and meandered through wooded areas, around more ponds, and through beautiful meadows. The hike in total was about 2.5 miles, and we were grateful for the time to wind down from the drive and enjoy the park before heading out the following morning.
In addition to the great sites and trails, the bathhouses were well kept and clean, and it is such a treat when we can find a nice shower and enjoy an endless supply of hot water. Because we only had electric hookups, there were water stations and grey water disposal areas located periodically throughout the campground, which is something we do not often see. While we did not need to use these features, it was nice knowing we could get water easily if needed and use our new portable grey water tank to empty the camper tank if necessary.
We are almost always impressed with state parks and the amenities they provide at their campgrounds, and Maumee Bay was no exception. We highly recommend a visit to the park, a hike on the trails, and a stay at the campground. A definite win for our first night back on the road.