Ohio eBird Hotspots

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge–Helle Unit

Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge website
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge map

‚ÄčAlso, see Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

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eBird Hotspot

Ottawa County

Ottawa NWR–Helle Unit
Coordinates: 41.572232, -83.172787
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Photos by Ken Ostermiller

About Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Helle Unit
One of our newest favorite spots at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge is the Helle Unit. This unit is located on North Toussaint Road, just east of Benton Carroll Road and approximately 4 miles southeast of the main refuge complex. This site is home to a tree restoration project… you’ll know that you are here when you see all of the plastic tubes sticking up out of the earth! These are guards to protect the young trees from grazers like rabbits and deer. In addition to the tree restoration and prairie habitat, the property is also right next to the Toussaint Creek promising a variety of bird and wildlife species.

The Helle Unit now has a parking lot and kayak launch for visitors to use. During the hunting season, this is also a public hunting area. Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge raised funds for this site in 2017, and work is nearly complete thanks to the refuge’s great maintenance team!

This spot could get really birdy during spring migration with potential for sparrow species, dickcissels, wood warblers, and herons. This will also be a great place to bird by boat or to just set up a chair and listen.
From Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge

Tips for birding Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
From Lake Erie Birding Trail website
From Ohio Ornithological Society website

About Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge spans two counties. The northern part of the refuge is in Lucas County and the southern part is in Ottawa County.

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge provides valuable habitat for a diversity of waterfowl and other migratory birds, resident wildlife, and endangered and threatened species. It provides a place for people to enjoy wildlife-dependent activities and learn about the complexities of the natural world through education and interpretive programming.

Ottawa Refuge is located in northwest Ohio. The entrance is located 15 miles east of Toledo, Ohio or 16 miles west of Port Clinton, Ohio on OH-2. The entrance road is located on the north side of OH-2.

Visitors should stop at the visitor center which opened in 2007. This beautiful lodge style building welcomes you and tells the refuge story. The building is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There are ten miles of hiking trails. These trails travel through a variety of habitats and start behind the visitor center or from the trailhead parking lot.

The refuge auto tour is open on scheduled days from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The auto tour travels through areas of the refuge not otherwise open to the general public. See the calendar of events for open dates.
From Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge webpage

Restrooms at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge are available at the Visitor Center (flush toilets) and at the parking lot for trails (non-flush toilets).