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Ohio

Great Egret Marsh Preserve


Great Egret Marsh Preserve consists of more than 150 acres of marsh and surrounding upland in Ottawa County across the road from East Harbor State Park.

The preserve’s marshes are part of the West Harbor Basin, a long, narrow pool of Lake Erie backwater that geologists believe was once the channel of the Portage River. As the last wave of glaciation receded and Lake Erie’s water level rose, the river naturally rerouted itself to empty into the lake at Port Clinton instead of nearby East Harbor State Park.

Created in 2013 with help from a Clean Ohio Conservation Fund grant, the preserve contributes to the Conservancy’s goal to protect and restore an additional 10,000 acres of coastal habitat along Lake Erie.

Current Conservation Work
  • In 2014 a trail and interpretive signage were installed at the preserve, which officially opened to the public in May 2014.
  • In 2013 the Conservancy was awarded a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore some old farm fields back to wetlands and improve fish passage in the existing diked marsh. 
  • In 2013 planning began for a trail system and interpretive signage.

What You'll See

Great Egret Marsh Preserve, and the surrounding West Harbor Basin, is a haven for waterfowl and wading birds. One of the preserve’s defining features, great egrets congregate here in abundance. The large, white, wading birds native to this part of Lake Erie can often be found in large clusters in the area’s shallow waters.

About half of the preserve is covered in classic Lake Erie marshland, blanketed each summer with water lotus.

Things To Do

  • The preserve is open to the public for bird-watching, fishing, hiking, kayaking and canoeing.
  • An easy, 1.2 mile loop trail guides visitors through the marsh and surrounding upland.

 

Directions
  • From Cleveland: Take State Route 2 West to State Route 269 North. After 2.5 miles, turn right onto S.R. 163 East / S.R. 269 North for about ½ mile. Turn left onto S.R. 269 North / North Buck Road for about ¾ mile. Turn left onto Buck Road 139A. Go 500 feet and the entrance to the preserve will be on your right.
  • From Columbus: Take State Route 23 North to State Route 4. Go North on State Route 4 to State Route 2. Go West on State Route 2 to State Route 269 North. After 2.5 miles, turn right onto S.R. 163 East / S.R. 269 North for about ½ mile. Turn left onto S.R. 269 North / North Buck Road for about ¾ mile. Turn left onto Buck Road 139A. Go 500 feet and the entrance to the preserve will be on your right.
  • From Cincinnati: Take Route 75 North to S.R. 12 (at Findlay), go North/Northeast on S.R. 12 to S.R. 53 (at Fremont), North on S.R. 53 to S.R. 2, go east on S.R. 2 to S.R. 269 North. After 2.5 miles, turn right onto S.R. 163 East / S.R. 269 North for about ½ mile. Turn left onto S.R. 269 North / North Buck Road for about ¾ mile. Turn left onto Buck Road 139A. Go 500 feet and the entrance to the preserve will be on your right
  • From Toledo: Take S.R. 2 East to S.R. 269 North. After 2.5 miles, turn right onto S.R. 163 East / S.R. 269 North for about ½ mile. Turn left onto S.R. 269 North / North Buck Road for about ¾ mile. Turn left onto Buck Road 139A. Go 500 feet and the entrance to the preserve will be on your right.
     

 

Discussion

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