Maumee River–Roche De Boeuf
Waterville, Ohio 43566
Also, see Maumee River-Lower Important Bird Area
eBird Bar Charts by Season
About Roche De Boeuf
The once-massive limestone rock outcropping standing in the Maumee River has marked may events in the history of the valley. It was a legendary site for Native Americans and the place where they gathered before the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794. Early records indicate a nearby French settlement in the 1700s was called both Roche de Bout and Roche de Boeuf, but for the last hundred years or so the latter has been most frequently used for both the rock and the lost settlement. About one-third of the rock was destroyed when the railroad bridge was built which caused a great controversy.
The Lima and Toledo Traction Company Bridge was constructed in 1907 by the National Bridge Company of Indianapolis, and it was considered to be a revolutionary type of bridge construction. The Old Electric Bridge, as it was called, was built of steel reinforced concrete and filled with earth. In fact, for this period some considered the bridge to be the longest such railroad bridge in the world. Twelve spans of Roman aqueduct architectural design anchor the 1220-footbridge in solid river bedrock. The bridge linked Lucas and Wood counties and connected a busy Toledo with points south by means of an electric trolley. This Interurban Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
From Historical Marker about Roche De Boeuf
About the Maumee River
The Maumee River begins its 137-mile northeastward journey in Fort Wayne, Ind., at the confluence of the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers and empties into Maumee Bay (Lake Erie) in Toledo. Covering over 6,500 square miles (4.2 million acres), its watershed is the largest drainage basin in the Great Lakes Watershed.
More than 3,900 miles of rivers and streams flow into the Maumee, including the Auglaize, Blanchard (via the Auglaize) and Tiffin rivers. The upper 43 miles of the Maumee River in Ohio is designated as a State Scenic River.
Historically, the Maumee River was also known as the Miami River and called “Miami of the Lake,” not to be confused with the Miami River in southern Ohio, which was known as “Miami of the Ohio.” The word ‘Maumee’ is an anglicized spelling of the Ottawa name for the Miami Indians, ‘maamii.’
The Maumee River provided a strategic backdrop during the Northwest Indian War in the decisive Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. Many forts, including Defiance, Loramie, and Recovery were established to protect trade routes along the river.
The now abandoned Miami and Erie Canal once paralleled the Maumee River between Toledo and Defiance. The canal was completed in 1845 and provided a direct connection for freight traffic between Lake Erie and the Ohio River in Cincinnati. Growing railroad networks in Ohio gradually rendered the canal systems obsolete.
In 1913 the Miami and Erie, as well as the Ohio and Erie Canal in eastern Ohio, was destroyed due to catastrophic flooding. Many remnant segments of the canal exist today and many are located on public lands for recreational use. Stretches of the canal’s towpath have been converted into hiking trails.
The Maumee River is used as a major transportation corridor for commercial freight entering and leaving the Port of Toledo. Due to concerns that too much industrial and wastewater contaminants had been discharged into the lower portion of the river, the Maumee was federally designated an Area of Concern in 1985 (along with the Ashtabula, Black, and Cuyahoga rivers), prompting the foundation of the Maumee River Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The RAP uses community-based, collaborative, ecosystem-based approaches to clean up and restore the polluted portions of the river. As a result of the RAP’s efforts, water quality in the lower Maumee is improving.
In the upper reaches, upstream of the city of Maumee, the river is shallower and used primarily for recreational purposes. The Maumee is a popular spot to fish for flathead catfish, walleye, smallmouth bass and white bass. Each spring, thousands of walleye run up the Maumee to spawn, attracting anglers from across the nation.
Restrooms are located at Side Cut Metropark at the NE end of the rapids, at Farnsworth Metropark, at Bendview Park along the Towpath Trail, and at Providence Metropark at the SW end of the rapids.