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  • At-a-Glance
  • What to Look For
  • Noteworthy Rarities
  • Natural Features
  • Local Resources
  • 74 - Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
    14000 W. State Route 2
    Oak Harbor, OH 434490


    Public Access

    Open daily, dawn until dusk


    Hiking Trails, Restrooms, Visitors Center, Handicap Accessible Trails, Checklist Available, Sightings Board, Outdoor Feeders, Wildlife Observation Window, Binocular Rentals

    GPS Coordinates

    N 41° 36'14.86"; W 83° 12'18.10"

    Driving Directions

    From Oak Harbor, go north on Route 19 for 6 miles to Route 2. Turn west and drive 3 miles to the Refuge entrance.

    What to Look For

    The refuge includes over 9,000 acres, not all of which is open to the public. An excellent visitor's center provides a great overview of the refuge and information on accessibility. Much of Ottawa consists of massive diked wetlands, many of which are accessible by foot. Monthly driving tours allow access into normally off-limits areas. Waterfowl abound during migration, and depending upon water levels, enormous numbers of shorebirds congregate. The scattered woodlots can be productive places to find migrant songbirds, and spring and fall brings excellent numbers of migrant raptors passing overhead. Expansive meadows along Krause and Stange roads on the refuge's west side sometimes host Upland Sandpiper, Dickcissel, Sedge Wren, and other grassland species. Northern Shrike sometimes turns up in winter.

    Noteworthy Rarities

    Too many to list them all, but highlights include Tricolored Heron, White-faced Ibis, Prairie Falcon, Black-necked Stilt, White-winged Dove, Vermilion Flycatcher, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.

    Natural Features

    The 86-acre West Sister Island, which is not publicly accessible, lies nine miles offshore and harbors an enormous heron rookery. These birds fly to the mainland to feed. Some years, large numbers of American dogface butterflies can be found along ditches where their host plant, false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) grows.