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A Fall Walk Through Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve

 

A Fall walk through Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve

Once part of the roadway leading to Cedar Point Amusement Park, visitors can walk along what was one of the first hard surfaced roads east of the Mississippi.  The easy paved trail now leads visitors to one of the last undeveloped stretches of shoreline in the Sandusky Bay area.

Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve was originally the site of the first entrance to Cedar Point in the early 1900's

The nature preserve has four miles of easy nature trails and welcomes over 80,000 visitors a year. Though it’s only a little over an hour from my home, this was my first visit to Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve, but it won’t be the last.

Squirrel along the trail at Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve

We spent several hours in the afternoon to explore.  The paved trail leads past some wooded trails where my husband and I caught glimpses of some of the local wildlife, including this cute squirrel that seemed to pose for me.

Marsh located along the trail at Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve

Sheldon Marsh attracts nearly 300 bird species and though we spotted egrets and wood ducks, I wasn’t able to get a close enough photo with my camera lens. Next time I’ll be prepared for some more serious bird watching.

Wetlands at Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve

You’ll spot many different habitats at Sheldon Marsh, including an old field, hardwood forest, cat-tail marsh and a barrier sand beach.  I was impressed by how diverse the marsh is.

Sheldon's Marsh Nature Preserve near Sandusky Ohio

Along the trail, we found an opening which lead to a private beach owned by Sawmill Creek Resort which is located adjacent to the marsh.

An opening to the Beach at Sawmill Resort along the Sheldon Marsh

Continuing on, we found a boardwalk leading to the barrier beach. It would be the perfect place to spend the afternoon with a picnic or a great book.

The opening to the barrier beach at Sheldon Marsh

My husband and I paused at the beach for about an hour. He opted to rest on a downed log, while I walked along the shore breathing in the lake air.

The view from the Barrier Beach at Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve in Sandusky

Across the water, you could catch a distant view of Cedar Point.

You can catch a glimpse of Cedar Point from the Barrier Beach

Fall was a beautiful time to visit, but I’ve been reading that spring is the optimal time to plan a hike at Sheldon Marsh for those that enjoy seeking out Ohio’s wildflowers.

The sun shining through the trees at Sheldon Marsh

On the way back we passed a sign for the Old Field Trail and decided to venture off the paved path once more. We saw a couple snakes before making our way to the butterfly meadow.

There are also wooded trails at Sheldon Marsh

The field draws hundreds of Monarch butterflies which are plentiful each September as they head south.

The Butterfly Meadow at Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve

You’ll find Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve at 2715 Cleveland Rd., Huron, OH, just a few miles east of Cedar Point.

A few tips to help you plan your visit to Sheldon Marsh:

1. The flat one-mile path to the shore is accessible by wheelchair and stroller.
2. There are other short paths that branch off the paved path that are not paved.
3. Don’t forget your camera!
4. Water is not available so make sure you pack your own and go to the restroom before you arrive. There is a porta pot on the property, but it’s not located immediately near the parking area.
5. Free parking is available in the parking area at the head of the trail.
6. Bicycles are not permitted on the trail, but there is a bike rack where you can chain your bike.
7. There are benches along the trail at various locations where you can stop and rest your legs if needed, or just to take time to enjoy the view.
8. The marsh is open to the public one hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset.
9. The beach may be beautiful, but swimming is prohibited.
10. Visitors are not permitted to stray from the trails.

Have you visited Sheldon Marsh? What did you enjoy most?

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Jill Bauer

Tuesday 4th of November 2014

One of my favorite places!

Julie Henning

Saturday 1st of November 2014

Oh, I would so much rather go here than Cedar Point. I think as someone who has lived on both sides of Lake Michigan, I forget how beautiful the other four Great Lakes can be.

Tonya

Wednesday 12th of November 2014

My teens love Cedar Point, but my husband and I can only stand so much time in the park before we long to get away from the crowds and get into nature. It's a gorgeous park.

wandering educators

Friday 31st of October 2014

What a gorgeous place - I especially love that quiet beach.

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