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  • At-a-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Providence Dam
  • Farnsworth Metropark
  • Side Cut Metropark
  • 86 - Maumee River Rapids

    86A - Providence Dam
    86B - Farnsworth Metropark
    86C - Side Cut Metropark

    Three of the best and most easily accessible birding spots on the river are described on the following tabs.

    GPS Coordinates

    Providence Dam: N 41º 24'52.08"; W 83º 51'57.05"
    Farnsworth: N 41º 29'20.74"; W 83º 42'52.47"
    Side Cut: N 41º 32'42.90"; W 83º 41'9.97"

    What to Look For

    The great Maumee River is the largest tributary that enters Lake Erie in Ohio. It drains parts of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio and is formed by the joining of the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers. The Maumee confluences with Lake Erie at Toledo, and because of the river’s size, many birds use it to rest and refuel, including a number of species not normally found away from Lake Erie.

    The section of river referred to as the “rapids” extends from Sidecut Metropark at the Interstate 475 bridge upstream to Providence Dam. While interesting birding opportunities exist in any month, the rapids are best during low flow periods when shorebirds stop to forage in the river, and winter when great numbers of gulls sometimes congregate. Rare gulls that are regularly recorded include Glaucous, Iceland, Lesser Black-backed, and Thayer’s gulls. There is one record of Mew Gull. Nearly all regularly occurring shorebird can be tallied, including uncommon species such as American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, and Whimbrel. Red-necked and Wilson’s phalaropes are possible, and Ruff has been recorded.

    In the colder months, good numbers of waterfowl congregate in the rapids, especially divers such as Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Canvasback, both scaup, and others.

    Providence Dam

    13827 U.S. Route 24

    Public Access

    Open daily, 7 a.m. to dark

    Amenities

    Trails and overlooks offering views of the Maumee River, Restrooms

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41º 24'52.08"; W 83º 51'57.05"

    Driving Directions

    Providence Metropark is located by the Providence Dam, and is just across the river from Grand Rapids. Entry points are along the south side of U.S. Route 24

    Additional Resources

    Metroparks of the Toledo Area
    Ohio Ornithological Society

    Farnsworth Metropark

    8505 South River Road (U.S. Route 24)
    Waterville, OH 43566

    Public Access

    Open daily, 7 a.m. to dark

    Amenities

    Trails, Restrooms, Overlooks of the Maumee River

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41º 29'20.74"; W 83º 42'52.47"

    Driving Directions

    Along the south side of U.S. Route 24 between Waterville-Monclova and Noward roads, just west of Waterville.

    Additional Resources

    Metroparks of the Toledo Area
    Ohio Ornithological Society

    Side Cut Metropark

    1025 West River Road
    Maumee, OH 43537

    Public Access

    Open daily, 7 a.m. to dusk

    Amenities

    Visitor’s Center, Window on Wildlife, Trails, Restrooms

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41º 32'42.90"; W 83º 41'9.97"

    Driving Directions

    Various entry points to the park are off North River Road, and West River Road, which parallels the north bank of the Maumee River. The park is easily accessed from U.S. Route 24 by exiting at Fallen Timbers Lane and following signage.

    Additional Resources

    Metroparks of the Toledo Area
    Ohio Ornithological Society