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  • At-a-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Noteworthy Rarities
  • Natural Features
  • Local Resources
  • 72 - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

    Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife
    13229 W. State Route 2
    Oak Harbor, OH 43449

    419.898.0960

    Public Access

    Open all day, year-round

    Amenities

    Hiking Trails, Restrooms, Visitors Center, Handicap Accessible Trails, Sightings Board, Outdoor Feeders, Wildlife Observation Window, Binocular Loan. A comprehensive area checklist is available.

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41° 36'13.78"; W 83° 11'32.71"

    Driving Directions

    From Port Clinton, go west on State Route 2; Magee Marsh is about 5 miles past Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Plant, between State Route 19 and State Route 590.

    What to Look For

    Magee Marsh is probably the most famous birding destination in Ohio. Thousands of birders from all over the country—and even overseas—flock here in May to witness spring migration. Their primary destination is the legendary "bird trail," which is an elevated mile-and-a-half long boardwalk that bisects a 37-acre patch of swamp woods on the shore of Lake Erie. Catch a good day and the numbers and variery of songbirds can be stupefying. You'll likely be sharing them with several thousand other birders, but the birds are unaffected and often nearly at fingertip range. Nearly every regularly occurring songbird found in Ohio is found at Magee annually. The wildlife area is 2,000 acres and much of it is marsh. A great variety of waterbirds can be present and gravel pulloffs allow safe viewing from the causeway road that bisects the marsh. While peak birding is in spring, the opportunities are excellent year-round with interesting species present in every month.

    Noteworthy Rarities

    The list is too long to cite everything, but a few exceptional finds include Swainson's Hawk, Black-necked Stilt, Long-tailed Jaeger, Gray Flycatcher, Townsend's Warbler, Western Tanager, and Painted Bunting. There are numerous records of Kirtland's Warbler.

    Natural Features

    Blanding's turtle is often seen basking on logs near the bird trail. Large numbers of migratory dragonflies often swarm along the beaches, and the east beach was the site of Ohio's first record of striped saddlebags.

    Local Resources

    Black Swamp Bird Observatory
    Black Swamp Bird Observatory Boardwalk Map
    Black Swamp Bird Observatory Magee Marsh Map
    Friends of Magee Marsh
    Lake Erie Shores & Islands
    Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce
    ODNR Division of Wildlife
    Ohio Ornithological Society

    Nearby Lake Access Sites

    Camp Perry. Located on the north side of State Route 2, about 4 miles west of Port Clinton. Enter the camp via Niagara Road; a photo ID is required for access. There is a beach, pier, and good views of Lake Erie.