Maumee River Water Trail

The trail stretches 107-miles from Maumee Bay and Lake Erie to the Ohio-Indiana border.

The trail connects five Metroparks (Bend View, Farnsworth, Middlegrounds, Providence, and Side Cut), three state parks (Independence Dam, Mary Jane Thurston, and Maumee Bay), three wildlife areas (Meyerholtz, North Turkeyfoot, and Van Tassel), as well as 15 other publicly owned parks. In total, the trail can be accessed at 39 locations with a variety of activities and amenities found at each location.

For the complete Water Trail experience, visit our Water Trail microsite here.

The Maumee River and its Rich History

The Maumee River, named by the Miami Indians, was designated a State Scenic River on July 18, 1974. Located in the northwestern part of Ohio, the Maumee flows northeasterly through portions of Paulding, Defiance, Henry, Wood and Lucas counties.

The historic and cultural heritage of this section is of major state and national significance, making it worthy of designation. In the era when wilderness reigned supreme and travel was by foot or water, the river constituted one of the chief modes of transportation. During the late 17th and 18th centuries, the Indian people moved southward and westward into the Maumee River Valley because of tribal warfare and the pressures of the European settlements. The Miami Indians were the predominant group; they settled at the headwaters of the river.

Many battles of the French and Indian War and the War of 1812 occurred in the river valley, which played a decisive role in the opening up of the "Northwest Territory" for settlement.

Once a part of the Great Black Swamp, underwent extensive drainage to yield vast, fertile, agricultural lands, a part of the landscape that remains today. Indeed, this major river of northwestern Ohio constitutes an important historical and cultural resource for the citizens of Ohio.


Water Trail Overview

Use the overview map and the corresponding maps below to view all 39 access points along the 107-mile water trail. 

Suggested Trips


22.8Farnsworth Metropark
Paddle around Missionary Islands (take out at same location)

14.1Orleans Park
Paddle around Audubon Islands (take out at same location)

31.1 > 26.2  (4.9 mi.)
Providence Metropark > Otsego Park

14.1 > 5.3 (8.8 mi.)
Orleans Park > Middlegrounds Metropark 

29 > 20.2  (8.8 mi.)
Van Tassel Wildlife Area > Memorial Park

75.8 > 63.6 (12.2 mi.)
The Bend > Pontiac Park

59.5 > 47.1 (12.4 mi.)
Independence Dam State Pk > Ritter Park 


Day 1
46.9 > 32 (14.9 miles) 
Oberhaus Park > Mary Jane Thurston State Park
Camp at Mary Jane Thurston

Day 2
32 > 26.2 
(5.8 miles) 
Mary Jane Thurston State Park 
Otsego Park



Day 1
46.9 > 32 (14.9 miles)
Oberhaus Park > Mary Jane Thurston State Park
Camp at Mary Jane Thurston

Day 2
32 > 20.6 
(11.4 miles) 
Mary Jane Thurston State Park > Granger Island
Camp at Granger Island

Day 3 
20.6 > 16.5 
(4.1 miles) 
Granger Island > Side Cut Metropark


Day 1
46.9 > 32 (14.9 miles) 
Oberhaus Park > Mary Jane Thurston State Park
Camp at Mary Jane Thurston

Day 2
32 > 22.8 
(9.2 miles) 
Mary Jane Thurston State Park > Farnsworth Metropark
Camp at Farnsworth

Day 3 
22.8 > 16 
(6.8 miles) 
Farnsworth Metropark 
Buttonwood Betty

Camp at Buttonwood Betty

Day 4
16 > 13.1  
(2.9 miles)
Buttonwood Betty > Maple Street Boat Launch



Trail Map Diagram


The Water Trail map can be broken down into four sections to better showcase the stops and amenities available along the river.

*The information contained in these map is believed to be accurate. Neither Metroparks Toledo or ODNR are responsible for any inaccuracies. Interpretation and use of the map and its contents are the responsibility of the user.

Click on the maps below to open a printable PDF brochure.


Safety Tips

Never boat alone.

Wear a lifejacket at all times, 
particularly in moving water. By law, children under 10 must wear life jackets of an appropriate size.

File a “float plan” with a reliable person, indicating where you are going and when you will leave and return. Remember to contact the person once you have returned safely.

Know where you are along the trail at all times. Know how to get to roads if you must walkout

Do not overload or unevenly load your boat. Keep the weight in the boat low and centered to maintain stability.

Be prepared to swim. If the water looks too hazardous to swim, then don’t boat on it!

Always maintain three points of contact (for example, two hands and one foot touching the boat) while moving around in the boat.

Be aware of motorized boats, stay close to shore unless crossing, wear bright colors for visibility, always point your boat into the wake to avoid capsizing.

If you capsize, hold onto your boat unless it presents a life-threatening situation. Position yourself on the upstream side of the capsized boat.

Carry plenty of drinking water. Avoid overexertion and guard against extreme weather conditions.

In case of emergency call 911. Know where you are along the trail in case you need to request emergency assistance.

In Appreciation of Our Partners

Funding and production of this publication was a cooperative effort of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Metroparks Toledo, with a special thanks to the Maumee Valley Planning Organization and the Defiance Soil & Water Conservation District for helping coordinate the initiative. Thanks as well to all of the access site owners and local stake holder groups who have contributed their time and resources.