Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Ohio.

Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964 as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds. The 2,445 acre marsh was donated to the North American Wildlife Foundation by the Cedar Point Shooting Club, a hunt club that had owned Cedar Point marsh since 1882. The foundation sold the marsh to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for $1 with the provision that it is not used as a public park, campground or picnic area.

The area that is now the refuge is part of what was the Great Black Swamp. The swamp covered approximately 1,500 square miles and was a vast network of habitats consisting of forests, wetlands and grasslands. It was first used by the many Indigenous people of the area. Hunting and fishing camps were located on the gravel point when the lake levels were low. The first documented structure built in the area was by a fur trader who lived in a cabin on the point. When the hunt club purchased the property, their hunt lodge was also built on the point. The club was owned by wealthy industrialists from Cleveland, Ohio. Former Secretary of Treasury George Humphrey's guest President Dwight D. Eisenhower hunted at the marsh twice during his presidency.

An additional donation by the Lamb family brought the total area of the refuge to 2,616 acres which contain three impounded wetlands. The largest unit is 1,444 acres and one of the largest remaining contiguous wetlands in the western basin of Lake Erie. This unit is managed by a pump system and a water control structure that includes a fish passage system. It has diverse vegetation and contains the largest wild rice population in Ohio. The refuge includes two rare cottonwood dune forest communities next to Lake Erie which provide critical habitat for migrating songbirds.

Nearby Activities


Cedar Point Refuge is located in Lucas County in northwest Ohio. To reach the Cedar Point Refuge fishing access, travel three miles east of Oregon, Ohio, or nine miles east of I-280, on State Route 2. Turn north on Yondota Road off of State Route 2. Travel two miles north from St. Rt. 2 on Yondota. The fishing access is at the end of an approximately 1/2-mile entrance road that turns to the left off of Yondota Road.

The refuge is managed by the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Their address is 14000 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor, OH 43449. Phone is 419-898-0014, and e-mail is ottawa@fws.gov.

Additional Information