Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve

8365 Harbor Drive, Mentor

The newest nature preserve in the state of Ohio is located in Mentor, right on the shores of Lake Erie. The 450-acre Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve & Marina was purchased by the city of Mentor in 1997 and 1998 in order to save the property from a proposed private development.

The nature preserve includes one and one half miles of shoreline with rare dune plants, a riverine marsh, mature oak bluff and crescent-shaped open waterways. Containing the greatest diversity of wetland communities within the marsh basin, it serves as an important breeding and nursery area for fish and waterfowl and provides a resting place for neo-tropical birds and butterflies as they migrate each year.

The Mentor Lagoons wetlands are some of the few riverine marshes still surviving along Lake Erie’s shore; the uplands support the largest unbroken bluff forest in northeast Ohio. Below the forest is a one half-mile stretch of one of the finest coastal dune communities in Ohio. Together, the dunes and beach support two species of plants listed on Ohio’s threatened list and five potentially threatened species of plants, as well as a highly diverse wildlife community. Over 150 species of birds have been recorded, making this site one of the top birding locations in the region.

Nature Trails

Over three miles of hiking and biking trails encircle the Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve providing four distinctly different vistas a view of the marina, Mentor Marsh, upland forest and Lake Erie shoreline. The following nature trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk: Lakefront Trail (1.1 miles), Marina Overlook Trail (0.6 mile), Marsh Rim Trail (0.6 mile), Woods Trail (0.6 mile) and the Shoreline Loop (0.3 mile). Trails vary in terrain. Signs are posted throughout the nature preserve to direct visitors through the trail system. Trail maps are available at the Marina office, trailhead, or at the Recreation Department located at the Mentor Municipal Center. Electric carts are available so that physically challenged persons can access the trails. Call (440) 205-3625 before visiting to ensure cart availability. A Courtesy Patrol operates during the summer months to assist and guide visitors.

View the Mentor Lagoons Brochure

Visitor Courtesies

We strive to maintain the highest standards possible. If you notice, or experience, a service or safety issue, please call the Parks Department at (440) 974-5720. Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve is a wildlife preserve. Please help keep it clean to protect and preserve its native plants and animals.

* Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve closes at dusk.

* Please place litter in receptacles provided.

* Parking is permitted in designated areas only.

* No alcohol is permitted in the nature preserve.

* Swimming is prohibited.

* Dogs must be on a leash at all times.

* Please respect the rights of other visitors as you enjoy our facilities.

* If an emergency arises, call 911.

* Please keep amplified music at a reasonable level.

* Bicycles are NOT permitted along the Marsh Rim Trail. Refer to Trail Map for approved bike trails.

* All-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, and all other motorized vehicles are not permitted in the nature preserve.

The Mentor Lagoons Marina is adjacent to the Nature Preserve.