Mohican State Park
|Mohican State Park|
|U.S. state of Ohio showing the location of Mohican State Park|
|Location||Ashland County, Ohio, USA|
|Governing body||Ohio Department of Natural Resources|
Mohican State Park is a 1,110-acre (4.5 km2) Ohio state park in Ashland County, Ohio, United States, about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of downtown Loudonville, Ohio. The state park is surrounded by the 4,525-acre (18.31 km2) Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Mohican State Park is located along Ohio SR 3 and Ohio SR 97. The Clear Fork of the Mohican River flows through the park and joins the Black Fork about a half-mile east of the park to form the Mohican River. The park is open for year-round recreation including camping, hiking, boating, mountain biking, fishing, and picnicking.
There are three separate camping areas at Mohican State Park: the Class A Campground, the Class B Campground, and the Group Camp Area. There is also the Mohican Resort and Conference Center, built in 1974 and now operated by Xanterra Parks and Resorts, located 10 miles (16 km) west of the park.
In the Class A Campground located off of Ohio SR 3, there are 33 full service hook-up sites, 118 electric-only sites, and 10 walk-in tent camping sites. In addition, there are 25 Cottages near the west end of the Class A Campground along the Clear Fork and three Camper Cabins near the front of Class A. Campers can purchase souvenirs and gifts, camping supplies, some grocery items, and ice cream and coffee at The Commissary located in Class A. There once was a game room attached to the store where guests could sign out basketballs, volleyballs, and horseshoes for their personal use. It was discontinued and the Nature Center located near the entrance to the park was moved to this location.
The Class B Campground is located approximately two miles west of the Class A Campground, located off of Ohio SR 97. The Class B Campground is near the covered bridge along the Clear Fork and has 24 electric-only sites, all of which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
History of the area
The erosional forces of the last glacial meltwaters 12,000 years ago hastened the carving of the narrow gorge of the Clear Fork of the Mohican River. This gorge cuts into the sandstone bedrock exposing huge outcroppings and creating steep cliff walls. The gorge is more than one thousand feet wide at the top and over three hundred feet deep. The striking Clearfork Gorge with its towering hemlocks and stands of old-growth white pine are of national significance. The National Park Service has thus dedicated the area as a Registered National Natural Landmark.
The Mohican State Park area was once the hunting grounds of the Lenape, whose more famous warriors included Janacake, Bill Montour, Thomas Lyon, and James Smith, who was the first white man to come to this area. Smith was captured by the Indians and later adopted into their tribe. Several Delaware villages were located in the Mohican vicinity.
Settlement by non-Indians began at the turn of the nineteenth century, but settlement did not increase until the Indians were driven from the area during the War of 1812. John Chapman, immortalized as Johnny Appleseed, frequented the region during the 1800s, caring for his apple tree nurseries. His name and the date, carved in the wall of Lyons Falls, were an attraction for years. Unfortunately, the etchings have been obliterated with the passage of time.
Mohican State Park was originally called Clear Fork State Park when the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was created in 1949 and the park was created from Ohio Division of Forestry lands. In 1966, the name of the park was changed to Mohican to alleviate confusion between Clear Fork Reservoir in Mansfield, Ohio and the state park.
There are 13 miles (21 km) of hiking trails in Mohican State Park, plus an additional 32 miles (51 km) of hiking trails in the adjacent State Forest. The designated mountain bike trails and bridle paths are also available for the hiker to use.
An 8.5-mile (13.7 km) mountain bike trail that passes through Mohican State Park and the State Forest was opened to the public in 2005. The trail was created through a partnership between the Mohican/Malabar Bike Club and ODNR. Since then, work has continued to expand the mountain bike trail to a total of 24.5 miles (39.4 km). The trail is open to mountain bike riders and hikers. Each June the park is home to the Mohican MTB 100 race.
From Memorial Day Weekend through the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, the park offers daily naturalist activities for its camping and cottage visitors as well as the general public. Activities include movies at the Class A Campground amphitheater on weekends, nature hikes, family games, and grist mill tours. In addition, the Junior Naturalist program is offered for kids from ages 7 through 14. A restored cabin served as the park Nature Center and was located in the Class A Campground. It was moved to the space where the game room used to reside.
Malabar Farm State Park is approximately 15 miles (24 km) west of Mohican State Park, just west of Pleasant Hill Lake.