By Elaine Kish
The Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio
If you enjoy outdoor adventures that invite you to explore and be close to nature, a trip to the Mohican-Loudonville area will not disappoint. Known for being one of Ohio’s largest outdoor recreational areas, it offers activities for all ages. The main attraction is without a doubt camping and canoeing, which is why it is referred to as the Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio.
In 2006 the Mohican River was officially designated the Mohican State Scenic River. From its start in Ashland County, the waterway winds through Holmes and Knox Counties crossing the historic Greenville Treaty line. Established in 1795, the treaty confirmed that land south of the line would remain Native American and land north of the line was open to settlers
Even before warmer weather arrives, there are several events in the area you should consider. The Forget the PR, Mohican 50k and 25k races on Saturday, April 14, 2018, will take participants on a scenic and challenging run through Mohican State Park. To find more information, check their website at www.mohican50k.com. The Mohican Wildlife “All About the Outdoors” program will be April 27-29.
Eight different locations in Ashland and Richland Counties will offer workshops and demonstrations about wildlife habitat, heritage and natural history. The website www.mohicanwildlifeweekend.com has details. As a part of the weekend festivities, on Saturday, April 28, 2018, Wolf Creek Grist Mill will host “The Animals that Travel with Jack Hanna” and a nature-oriented scavenger hunt for kids with prizes at the end. Find details at www.wolfcreekmill.org. Another event on April 28 and each Saturday in May, 2018, will be “Live Birds of Prey” at the Mohican State Park Lodge where you can learn about a variety of Ohio birds.
When the weather heats up, so do the outdoor activities. Of course you’ll want to take an excursion down the river. There are numerous canoe liveries in the area to accommodate your transportation needs no matter what the size and experience of your group. They have canoes, rafts, kayaks and tubes. Some offer the use of pavilions and discounts for groups.
If you are new to the canoeing/kayaking experience, you will find helpful service and instructions to get you on the water in no time. While all trips on the river are on a first come, first served basis, calling ahead to make sure equipment is available is always a good idea. Mid-week day trips are the most leisurely but splashing down the river with a crowd on the weekend is always fun.
Here are some tips for items to bring with you on a water adventure for your comfort and safety: a trash bag for wet clothes and a change of dry clothes to be kept in your vehicle; sunglasses with a strap; sun block; bug spray; picnic supplies; a soft-sided cooler for rafts (styrofoam coolers are not permitted on the water as they break too easily and litter the river); and non-glass containers. You should wear a hat, t-shirt and shorts, as well as shoes for wading.
With 4,500 campsites in the area, you’ll have no trouble finding a space for your tent, RV or camper to stay the night. Mohican Adventures Campground offers primitive camping sites, as well as full hook-ups for RVs and campers. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring, and modern shower houses are available to guests at no charge and accessible 24/7.
There is an indoor heated pool with a spa for campers. The campground has several picnic areas, playgrounds, peddle boats and a stocked fishing lake for catch and release fishing. Basketball and sand volleyball courts are available for guests to enjoy.
A general store stocks anything you forgot, as well as souvenirs to remember your stay. Open April 1 through October 31, reservations are recommended. Mohican Adventure Cabins has cabins ranging from the rustic log variety to deluxe vacation homes. With multiple choices for families and groups of all sizes, cabins can accommodate anywhere from 4 people with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath up to 16 people with 6 bedrooms and 4 baths. A 2-night stay is required and some cabins require week-long rentals during the summer months.
Situated near the campground, Mohican Adventures is without a doubt one-stop-shopping for family fun. You can arrange for a river trip in a canoe, kayak, raft or tube. They offer 7-mile and 15-mile trips which include your choice of watercraft, paddles, personal flotation devices and shuttle service to and from the river. The Aerial Adventure Park has six courses with varying degrees of difficulty. The minimum age for participants is 5. Adventure Miniature Golf has three courses with varying degrees of difficulty.
Adventure Go-Karts includes two separate tracks, one more difficult and suited to experienced drivers. Double karts are available for children ages 3-9 to ride as passengers. You can plan your day of fun and purchase package specials for the attractions you choose. Mohican Campground campers receive a discount on all Mohican Adventure activities.
If camping is not your style but pampering is, a stay at Landoll’s Mohican Castle will surely have you feeling like royalty. Their core mission is to help you relax and unwind. Opened in 2002 and situated on 30 acres, this unique lodging facility sits on the top of a mountain at 1,200 feet. Built to resemble a European castle, it has eleven suites, some of which can be interconnected to accommodate larger groups. The Copper Mug Bar & Grille has onsite dining with seasonal outdoor seating.
Surrounded by 6,000 acres of Mohican State Forest and overlooking Pleasant Hill Lake, Mohican Lodge has 96 guestrooms, each with a private balcony. They have 40 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, as well as a sauna, indoor and outdoor pools and onsite dining.
Be sure to allow enough time for a trek through the treetops on a dual cable zip line at nearby Tree Frog Canopy Tours. To complete this 4,000-foot tour will probably take you about 3 hours but it will be worth every minute as you negotiate zip lines, sky bridges, and rappels connected to platforms suspended in the trees. An experience you will not forget, they are open May through October. Tours sell out early and reservations are a must.
There are several golf courses in the area, as well as unique shops and restaurants. Take a lunch break at the Trails End Restaurant where they serve a pizza buffet and salad bar in an actual canoe. The walls are decorated with sports memorabilia, keeping you in the mood to paddle or peddle.
No matter what your age or interests, the Mohican-Loudonville area has something for everyone. Make it a point to visit the Camp & Canoe Capital of Ohio and experience it yourself. For more information and a schedule of area events, see the website www.DiscoverMohican.com.
Mohican Camping and Canoeing