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Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Oak Harbor

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web
The 6704acre Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge 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 9000acre 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. 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, Birder's 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.
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  • Saw this on the GPS' map and decided to stop (driving from VA to MI for business). Did not spend near enough time, but did what I could. Beautiful water and lots of birds! I started out on the trails ...  read more »
  • Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge has the most elaborate visitor center of any refuge I've been to and I have visited a lot across the midwest and south. Most don't rate a tripadvisor listing, let alone...  read more »
  • Clean, uncrowded and lots of boardwalks to go through the marsh. Saw lots of warblers. Some of the planks needed replaced but overall well kept and gorgeous. 
  • Very nice area. The driving tour is great for the serious birder, but can be a bit long for the casual fan. The nature center and surrounding area are beautiful and in good condition. The trails beyond the short boardwalk over one of the ponds looked intriguing but I was driven away by stinging insects.
  • Excellent natural area for easy (flat) hiking in forests and marshes. Prime spot of you're a birder too :-)
  • One of the most accessible wildlife refuges around. Top class facility in our own backyard on Lake Erie
  • We love the Refuge for self guided walks and volunteer guided tour into controlled limited access areas. Birding and nature lovers will enjoy.
  • The visitor center wasn't open when I drove there. Wish it was clear when this place is open. All I saw were closed gates. I was able to see Stange Prairie though.
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