Skip to main content

Maumee Bay State Park reopens renovated Trautman Nature Center

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Press Release

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has reopened the Maumee Bay State Park Trautman Nature Center after a nearly half-million-dollar renovation project.

The nature center, which has served as a beacon for environmental education and appreciation for the last three decades, will once again be open to the community with a more immersive visitor experience. 

“The Trautman Nature Center has long been a cherished resource for this community and our park system, offering opportunities for education and exploration in our natural world,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “With these renovations, we’ve not only refreshed the physical space but also enhanced the overall experience for visitors, ensuring that this center continues to inspire and educate for years to come.”

The nature center first opened its doors in 1993. Located at the trailhead of the 1.9-mile-long boardwalk that highlights the Lake Erie wetland system, the center has continued to grow in popularity over the years and now attracts more than 27,000 guests annually.

The recent renovations were undertaken to breathe new life into the beloved nature center, focusing on connecting human history with the region’s rich and diverse natural heritage. Undergoing a transformation, the nature center now offers an even more immersive experience for visitors, such as the design of the floor reflecting the waters of Lake Erie and a children’s play area in the back of the building replicating the iconic Toledo Harbor Lighthouse. The actual lighthouse is visible from the shore behind the nature center.

Interactive exhibits invite guests to step into the shoes of the early settlers navigating the Great Black Swamp, to experience the journey of migrating birds, and to compare their arm span to the wingspan of a trumpeter swan. This revitalized space promises to immerse visitors in the vibrant tapestry of human and wildlife history in Ohio.

The reopening of the Trautman Nature Center marks a significant milestone in the ongoing commitment to environmental education and conservation in Ohio. As ODNR and the Ohio State Parks celebrate their 75th anniversary this year, that commitment continues stronger than ever.

For more information about Maumee Bay State Park or to plan your visit, please visit the ODNR website.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of the natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

Publisher's note: A free press is critical to having well-informed voters and citizens. While some news organizations opt for paid websites or costly paywalls, The Highland County Press has maintained a free newspaper and website for the last 25 years for our community. If you would like to contribute to this service, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made to: The Highland County Press, P.O. Box 849, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Please include "for website" on the memo line.