The Maumee River is located in northwestern Ohio. The river begins at Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the confluence of the St. Marys and the St. Joseph Rivers. The Maumee River is approximately 130 miles long, and it eventually flows into Lake Erie at Toledo, Ohio. With almost four thousand miles of streams, creeks, and rivers emptying into the Maumee River, the Maumee also has the largest watershed of any river flowing into a Great Lake.
Indians and Ohio’s and Indiana’s early white settlers used the Maumee River for transportation. Water travel was much quicker and cheaper than land travel during this era. Ohio settlers used the Maumee and the state’s other rivers to transport their crops to market. A portion of the Miami and Erie Canal also paralleled the Maumee River. Both Indians and white people settled along the river due to the fertile farmland in the Maumee’s floodplain. During the late 1800s and the early 1900s, industrialists utilized the Maumee River to ship oil, natural gas, coal, and other minerals. Today, modern ships are too large to navigate much of the Maumee River, and Ohioans primarily use the river for recreation and for drinking water.