Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s
Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve

Credit: Cleveland Museum of Natural History


Carol H. Sweet Nature Center
5185 Corduroy Rd
Mentor, OH 44060

Website  |  Get directions to this location

Site Overview

Occupying an ancient, abandoned channel of the Grand River, Mentor Marsh became Ohio’s first state nature preserve in 1971. It is one of the largest natural marshes remaining along the Lake Erie shoreline. It is also a registered National Natural Landmark with the National Park Service.

The Nature Conservancy and The Cleveland Museum of Natural History negotiated the initial purchase of land in 1961 and helped to secure nearly 300 acres of land.  The Cleveland Museum of Natural History facilitates programming and resources management of Mentor Marsh.

Why It Matters

With more than 800 acres, Mentor Marsh is one of the largest natural freshwater marshes protected along the Lake Erie shoreline. It provides critical spawning habitat for Lake Erie fish and is an important refuge and nesting site for waterfowl and migrating songbirds; more than 200 species of birds have been recorded using the site, including several state listed species (endangered, threatened or species of concern).

Natural Treasures Landmark

Join hundreds of others who have chronicled their adventures! Take a picture of yourself at the Carol H. Sweet Nature Center at Mentor Marsh and upload it to our site.

Fun Things to Do and See:

While on the hunt for the landmark, enjoy the abundant adventures this Ohio treasure has to offer. The thrill of nature can be experienced at any level!

Patio Dweller

  • Perch along the western edge of the Marsh and pull out your binoculars to enjoy some of the best bird watching in Ohio. Be sure to keep track of how many Blue-winged Teal and Hooded Merganser you spy. Purple Martins nest at the lagoons, too. Tree Swallows are also abundant and will be visible all summer long.

Backyard Camper

  • Stroll along the Wake Robin Trail and investigate the wetland ecosystem along the boardwalk. Pay special attention to the oak trees. They’re some of the largest in the region. Can you guess their height? Swamp milkweed is striking along the boardwalk by mid-summer and the pollinators looking for nectar from milkweed and blue vervain are a thrill to see.

Frontier Explorer

  • Trek through a variety of habitats along the .75-mile Kerven Trail and explore a young forest, butterfly meadow, upland forest, grapevine tangle and pine plantation. Did you see different wildlife using the variety of habitats?

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