Best Things to Do in Defiance, OH
Defiance, Ohio, is where two rivers, the Auglaize and the Maumee, meet. The city was the site of a fort in General Anthony Wayne’s fight against Native Americans in 18th-century Ohio. Today, you can visit a variety of shops, scenic trails, parks, and more. Here are some of the best things to do in Defiance.
Enjoy the Rivers
There’s a public boat ramp at Pontiac Park. You can also go canoeing or kayaking. The Maumee River has a series of interesting historical markers, and you’ll see lots of local plants and wildlife. You might even see a bald eagle!
Visit Independence Dam State Park
Independence Dam State Park covers 525 acres along the banks of the Maumee River, the largest river in northwestern Ohio. The cement dam was completed in 1924, replacing a wooden structure that was built in the 1800s. Before settlers arrived in the area, it was heavily forested. By 1885, most of the trees were gone, and much of the remaining forest in the region is on the banks of the Maumee River. You can see great sycamores, beech trees, maple trees, woodland wildflowers, songbirds, foxes, raccoons, and squirrels.
Independence Dam State Park is an ideal place for boating, water skiing, or fishing. You can go camping if you make reservations, and pets are allowed. You can also play volleyball, go bird watching, go biking or hiking along the river, or try cross-country skiing, sledding, or ice skating in winter.
See Fort Defiance Park
Seeing this small park is a great way to learn about the history of the area. General Anthony Wayne had the fort constructed in 1794. It was in a strategic location where the Maumee and Auglaize rivers meet, and it was one of the westernmost outposts in the United States until the War of 1812. The city of Defiance was founded at the location of the fort, and it became part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Today, this scenic area has some cannons from the fort and a historical marker. It’s an ideal place for some interesting photos or a relaxing stroll.
Tour the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum
Andrew L. Tuttle was a lifelong resident of Defiance, and he left his extensive collection of Native American artifacts, stamps, coins, documents, military memorabilia, and other items to the city of Defiance when he died in 2003. In 2013, the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum opened. It’s dedicated to preserving the history of the area, and you can see items from local businesses, photos of the city from the 1900s, antique German coins from local immigrants, Civil War currency, and more. This museum is open Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the first Sunday of every month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Defiance is a great place to enjoy nature, see beautiful scenery, and learn more about history. You can also participate in outdoor sports such as fishing, kayaking, and jet skiing.