It’s an outdoor destination that’s so popular in Ohio, it goes by a single name: Mohican. And it’s not just because of its proximity to Columbus and Cleveland. The area—otherwise known as Mohican State Park and the adjacent Mohican-Memorial State Forest—is home to designated Scenic rivers cutting gorges through the forest and more than 50 miles of multi-use trails to explore. Local outfitters make floating the Mohican River easy. But you don’t have to be a seasoned outdoor-adventure enthusiast to enjoy Mohican; ample camping options make this a great destination for simply hanging your hammock or toasting marshmallows around the campfire.
Camp in Comfort
The Mohican State Park Campground has something for every comfort level, starting with 25 waterfront full-facility cabins that sleep six ($70/night with two-night minimum, only four are pet friendly), plus camper cabins ($55/night, two-night minimum, no pets allowed, closed Nov. 1-April 1). There are 51 full-hookup campsites ($42/night weekdays, $43 Friday-Saturday), 35 electric sites ($31/32) and 10 non-electric tent sites ($27/28). Check the campground map and reserve a site along the Clear Fork of the Mohican River. Add a shower house, playground and pool (open Memorial Day to Labor Day), and you’ve got a family-friendly place to camp in the summer, or even year-round for that matter—the park keeps some sites open through the winter. The campground fills up on weekends, so it’s imperative to reserve a site ($6.50 reservation fee).
When it comes to activities, there’s a lot to do without even leaving the campground. Be sure to bring inner tubes for the two official launch sites (at the bridge by the cabins and by Site 86) and takeout at the state Route 3 bridge. All told, this covers about a mile of river, so you can float it once or do laps. For a nice hike, take the Hemlock Gorge Trail, starting from the back of the campground (by the bridge) to the cabins. From here, parallel the Clear Fork for 3 miles (one way) past the Class B campground and then on to the covered bridge. The trail is generally flat, has great views of the river and —as promised—is home to evergreen hemlocks as well as white pines.
The 23-mile Mohican Mountain Bike Trail is an IMBA-designated EPIC ride, and it starts and ends near the campground entrance. Pick it up on the north side of the parking near the campground entrance to ride in a counterclockwise direction. The trail is difficult—but don’t worry, you have the first 8 miles to bail before it becomes one-way.
Be sure to check the park website for a schedule of naturalist programs. Learn a few nuggets of natural and human history of the park, including the fact that despite its name, it was the Delaware/Lenape people who inhabited the land until being driven from it during the War of 1812. Also of note is the famed former resident named John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, who lived here during the same era.