“A pleasant combination of the three primary off-pavement trails in the park.
— Ken A
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This route combines the Mouse Trail
loop around the campground, the clear cut birding trails in the prairies, the entire horse bridle loop along the south and a trek along the shoreline on Lake Erie in Maumee Bay with a visit on to of the "Big Hill" to take it all in.
Daylight Hours Only
Need to Know
Do NOT attempt the bridal trail (south loop) without waterproofs, I am yet to find a day that I have not had to slop through multiple 4" wallows...this is the Great Black Swamp after all.
For that matter, the rest of the trail has multiple points where standing water can either be a hazard, or a fun challenge.
This is a clear cut grass trail, some of the major roots are already painted orange.
Horse trail probably not the best for running, as the uneven terrain and deep swamp could turn an ankle.
This is a fairly straightforward and flat run through MBSP. There is plenty of easy parking at the campground, big hill and over by the lake, so you can take your pick of starting/ending points.
This loop begins on the Mouse Trail
, which is a 2.5 mile 8' wide grass trail through the woods that surround the campground. Typically the northeast and south ends are anywhere from wet to standing water. Mosquitos abound during their peak season but by itself is a quick circle tour with access from the visitor parking at the campground entrance.
The unnamed birding trail loop that runs through the middle of the park criss crosses the paved paths but is a 10' wide grass trail that is easily identified. It's mapped here as the Grass Birding Trail
. If just doing this loop park at the big hill or lakeside parking lot and you'll see plenty of critters, the 360° view all the way to Canada (on extremely clear days!), run along the lake, through the woods, across the prairies and enjoy plenty of wildflowers in season. This section does have the potential for standing water but there are ways around it.
The bridal trail should be renamed "The Mini Black Swamp". Personally I love this section because you go traipsing through many sections of ~4 inch water for 30-40 yards at a time and always wonder if the swamp is going to crest the waterproofs. All told, this section gives you everything the native people suffered through navigating the Great Black Swamp... well...except the clean blazed trail, malaria, random Saber tooth threat or European invasion! As mentioned earlier, waterproof boots or a desire to get wet and muddy are required for this section.
I hope you enjoy the park and really enjoy these less traveled areas!