The wild turkey has made a tremendous comeback in Ohio after being totally extirpated at one time. Significant numbers of this magnificent bird can be found in the surrounding forest. Bald eagles are occasionally sighted in the area.
Of particular interest is the abundance of nesting warblers in the Clear Fork Gorge. More than fifteen species including Northern Parula, Hooded, Cerulean, and American Redstart nest here during spring and summer.
Mohican State Park and the adjacent State Forest are located in the heart of Mohican Country, Ohio’s great vacation region. The park is comprised of 1,110 acres with 5 miles of the scenic Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River running through it. The recreational opportunities available to the park visitor include fishing, hiking, picnicking, camping, cottages, and a resort lodge. The Mohican Memorial State Forest surrounds the park with 4,795 acres. Hunting, hiking, and bridle trails are available to forest visitors.
Mohican State Park is located in southern Ashland County bordered by OH-3 and OH-97, close to Loudonville, Ohio. The park can be easily accessed from I-71.
The scenic beauty and natural features of the Mohican region can be attributed to events that occurred over 14,000 years ago during the ice age in Ohio. The last glacier to enter Ohio, the Wisconsinan, ended its advance in the Mohican region forming a glacial boundary. Several moraines, linear ridges of soil and rock till deposited along the ice edge, are evident in the area.
The erosional forces of glacial meltwaters 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 Clear Fork Gorge with its towering hemlocks and stands of old-growth white pine is of national significance. The National Park Service has thus dedicated the area as a Registered National Natural Landmark.
The Mohican-Memorial State Forest surrounds the park and contains great plant and animal diversity. Ridge tops contain stands of white, red and black oaks, red maple, and white pine. Beech, ash, and tulip can be found in the middle and lower slopes with hemlock and yellow birch. The bottomlands contain sycamore, willow, buckeye, hawthorn, and dogwood. The diversity of ferns in this region is astounding with as many as fifteen different species identified, including the rare walking fern.
Mohican is home to numerous mammals including raccoon, white-tail deer, skunk, opossum, and red fox. Reptiles such as the box turtle, black ratsnake, and the venomous copperhead are present in the area. Dusky salamanders, American toads, and the gray tree frog are samples of local amphibians.
Trails at Mohican State Park include:
Lyons Fall Trail – 2 miles – Moderate to Difficult – follows Clear Fork Gorge and features two waterfalls
Pleasant Hill Trail – 0.75 miles – Easy – Follows the lake shoreline and offers beautiful views of the lake
This 2.75-mile hike along the Clear Fork of the Mohican River begins at the Covered Bridge in Mohican State Park, takes the Lyon Falls Trail on the southwest side of the river, climbs the Pleasant Hill Lake Dam, and returns to the Covered Bridge via the Pleasant Hill Lake Trail on the northeast side of the river.
The Lyons Falls Trail, 2 miles, begins on the southwest side of the Covered Bridge, follows the river at the beginning, and then turns to visit two waterfalls. Located in Mohican State Park, Lyons Falls is a large, low-flow waterfall that has a recess cave behind it. The waterfall is similar to Ash Cave Falls in Hocking Hills. Further up the trail from Lyons Falls is Little Lyons Falls, a smaller waterfall that is worth checking out because of the interesting cave at the bottom of the waterfall. The trail then continues to Pleasant Hill Lake, climbing up to the top of the dam.
The Pleasant Hill Lake Dam provides views of the lake on one side and the river gorge on the other. It is a favored place for those who enjoy fishing.
After enjoying the views from the top of the dam, take the steps down the middle of the dam to the Pleasant Hill Lake Trail and take this trail .75 mile to return to the Covered Bridge.
There are separate eBird hotspots for each of the trails, for the dam, and for the Covered Bridge. This is a good place to look for nesting warblers, flycatchers, vireos, and waterthrushes in the woods and along the river.
This is a popular hike and can be busy, especially on weekends.
Several additional hiking and multi-use trails traverse the park.
Clear Fork Gorge Loop Trail – 0.5 miles – Moderate
Grist Mill Overlook Loop Trail – 0.7 miles
Hemlock Gorge Trail – 2 miles – Difficult – Leads to a scenic covered bridge
Hog Hollow Trail – 2.5 miles
North Rim Trail – 1 mile
Stage Coach Trail (cut off on Lyons Falls) – 0.2 miles
Shelter House Trail – 0.33 miles
The AllTrails website has descriptions and maps of hikes in Mohican State Forest and Mohican State Park.
Restrooms on site
Content from Official Website