Enjoying a Lake Erie sunset is the perfect way to end a busy day, but it is just one of many attractions awaiting visitors at the Maumee Bay State Park Lodge.
Maumee Bay's location just east of Toledo makes it a great base from which to plan day trips to attractions like the Toledo Zoo, the city's new Hollywood Casino, the Toledo Museum of Art, a trip to the downtown ball park to see the Toledo Mud Hens in action or a visit to the arena to see Toledo Walleye hockey.
That is, if you find the time to take yourself away from the Maumee Bay State Park and its many activities.
Golfing, fishing, riding Jet Skis, paddle boarding, paddle boating, swimming, geocaching, making s'mores over a fire pit and enjoying the lakefront view are only a few of the activities visitors enjoy at the park. I took some time during my recent visit to grab one of the resort's rental bicycles and explore the grounds via a network of mostly level and paved trails.
One of my favorite places at Maumee Bay is the Nature Center and two-mile interpretive trail through some of the park's meadow, marshland and wooded areas. Much of the trail is boardwalk and includes a couple of shorter loops if you only have a few minutes to take a walk. The Lake Erie shore is very popular among birders, and the wetland habitat at and near the nature center is a prime spot for bird watching year round.
Colder weather doesn't pose a problem, either. An indoor pool, children's play area, racquetball/wallyball courts, an arcade area and rocking chairs in front of a massive fireplace in the lobby offer plenty of indoor diversions. You can also rent cross-country ski equipment or borrow a sled from the lodge during the winter.
Most of the rooms in the lodge have great lake views, while fully equipped housekeeping cottages, tucked a bit back from one of the resort's side roads and spaced nicely apart, provide for a more private retreat. The cottages feature gas fireplaces in the living area, screened and open porches and can accommodate anywhere from six to nearly a dozen people.
I attended a writers' conference at the lodge several years ago. I remember being impressed with the conference meals, and it's tough to please a conference crowd on a budget.
The food during my visit last month was also impressive, ranging from a causal lunch of a grilled cheese sandwich with soup on my own in the lodge's Water's Edge restaurant to an evening outdoor clam bake for our group featuring steamed lobster and Chef Monica Jazwiecki's seafood bisque.
For all of the hustle and bustle of activity and fun at the lodge, it's still possible to grab a quiet moment to enjoy the Lake Erie view and the area's natural beauty, which may turn out to be one of the more memorable moments of your visit to Maumee Bay State Park Lodge.
Thanks to Xanterra Parks and Resorts, Maumee Bay State Park Lodge and Destination Toledo CVB, which provided lodging, meals and a tour of Toledo-area activities for my review during my most recent visit to Maumee Bay, with no further compensation. I was free to express my own opinions about my stay and experiences, and the opinions expressed here are mine.