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Your Guide to Exploring Mohican State Park in Loudonville, Ohio

Mohican State Park in Loudonville, Ohio offers everything you love in a State Park: Hiking, Camping, Fishing and Gorgeous Scenery!

Let me start by saying that Mohican State Park is absolutely stunning in the fall. It’s just drop dead gorgeous at every turn! If you can visit in the fall, I highly recommend!

But, you should also know that Mohican is full of summer adventures! I grew up 30 minutes from Mohican State Park and it was the go-to destination for canoeing every summer when I was a teenager! As a kid, we spent summer days boating on Pleasant Hill Lake and as far as I was concerned, Mohican was “the beach”!

It was fun to come back to visit the park a couple of times in the past year and see it as an adult. I had never spent much time inside the actual state park. I hadn’t really done any hiking or spent much time seeing any of the park destinations.

fall color trees along the road in Mohican State Park.

History of Mohican State Park

Mohican State Park is within the Mohican-Memorial State Forest which covers 4,541 acres. The park and the surrounding area were initially home and hunting grounds for the Delaware Native Americans. The park was developed in 1949. 

Clearfork Gorge Area at Mohican State Park.

Did you know that Mohican State Park was originally named Clear Fork State Park? It was renamed in 1966 because there is another Clear Fork Park in Mansfield.

Points of Interest at Mohican State Park

Read on to explore some of the can’t miss destinations within Mohican State Park! Reference this map of the park as you go!

view of the Mohican River in the fall.

1. Clear Fork Gorge

view of fall trees from Clearfork Gorge in Mohican State Park.

Clear Fork Gorge is 1000 feet wide and over 300 feet deep and is filled with white pine and eastern hemlock trees. The gorge is a National Natural Landmark and is believed to have formed 14-24,000 years ago by glacial meltwater. 

steps going down to the Overlook at Clear Fork Gorge.

The Clear Fork Gorge is home to two overlooks and a picnic area. There is a paved path along the gorge, in-between the two overlooks. You absolutely must visit here in the fall! The ability to overlook the amazing colors of the gorge from the top is not to be missed!

view of fall foliage from Clear Fork Gorge in Mohican State Park.

2. Mohican Fire Tower

Mohican Fire Tower.

Let’s start by saying the Fire Tower at Mohican State Park is a bit rickety. I’m putting that mildly. The Fire Tower was built in 1934 and stands 80 feet tall.

In 2021 it was not open to climb, but I do know many people that have climbed it in the past. I’m not sure if or when it will reopen to climbing in the future. But it is an interesting sight to see in the park.

Mohican Fire Tower Fire Danger Sign.

There are also some educational signs on the tower that describe the history of forest fire management in Ohio!

3. Covered Bridge

Covered bridge at Mohican State Park in Loudonville Ohio.

The Covered Bridge at Mohican is one of the most recognizable points of interest in the park! The covered bridge crosses the Clearfork-Mohican River and you can drive over it and/or park in one of the lots next to it to walk over it. The bridge has a pedestrian path on each side.

view of the covered bridge across the river at Mohican.

7. Vista Overlook

Vista Overlook at Mohican State Park.

This Vista Overlook area is in the Group Camp area. Look for signs for Vista Overlook and drive back to the end of the road. There will be a short hiking path back to the overlook with a single picnic table.

mom and two boys at the Vista Overlook in Mohican State Park.

We visited here in April. I would have loved to see this spot in the fall!

8. Ohio Memorial Forest Shrine

path leading to Ohio Memorial Forest Shrine in Mohican State Park.

The Memorial Forest Shrine commemorates Ohioans that were killed in conflict since World War II.

Inside the Ohio Memorial Forest Shrine at Mohican State Park.

When the Mohican-Memorial Forest was formed in 1945, at the act authorized Ohio Federation of Women’s Clubs to build a shrine in the Memorial Forest Park.

boy looking at the books under glass at the Ohio Memorial Forest Shrine.

The shrine is open 7 days a week , 8:00 AM-5:00 PM.

9. Pleasant Hill Dam

boy walking on the bridge at Pleasant Hill Dam in Mohican State Park.

The Pleasant Hill Dam at Pleasant Hill Lake offers a picturesque view of the lake and a great place to stop and have a picnic. There are nice looking restrooms here, too, but they were closed in 2021. 

If you’re interested in seeing what more there is to do on the water, check out our camping trip to Pleasant Hill Lake Park!

Pleasant Hill Dam in Mohican State Park.

You can walk out on the bridge overlooking the lake or take a hike down the other side of the dam (see the pictures below under “Hiking”)!

Things to do at Mohican State Park

1. Fishing

Mohican River.

Fishing is allowed in Mohican’s waterways including Wolf Creek, Clear Fork River and Pleasant Hill Lake. An Ohio fishing license is required for those 16 and older. Read Ohio’s fishing regulations before visiting.

2. Hiking 

hiking trail at mohican state park.

Mohican has 9 hiking trails that range from easy to difficult. Points of interest on the trails include Big Lyons Falls and Little Lyons Falls, the Grist Mill and a shoreline trail along Pleasant Hill Lake.

Hikers are also allowed on the bridle trails and mountain biking trails.

boy walking up the steps of Pleasant Hill Dam at Mohican State Park.

180 some steps lead up the side of the Pleasant Hill Dam. You can do these steps as part of the trail to Lyon’s Falls or the Pleasant Hill Trail from the Covered Bridge. Or you can climb them on their own as part of your visit to the dam.

3. Canoeing 

The area around the park has developed into its own kind of adventure-land with Mohican Adventures Fun Center offering an Ariel Park, Go-Karts, Adventure Golf as well as Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting and Tubing! Mohican Adventures is just one of the many area businesses offering canoeing, kayaking and tubing on the river!

4. Camping

Mohican State Park Campground offers all kinds of camping options! They have deluxe cabins, camper cabins, full hook-up for RV’s and electric and non-electric camp sites. Reservations are required. 

5. Boating

Boating is available at Pleasant Hill Lake, which is part of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. There are no horsepower limits on the lake. 

Where to Eat Near Mohican State Park

Black Fork Bistro

woman standing in front of mural at Black Fork Bistro in downtown Loudonville.

If you’re looking for a nice sit down or take out option, try out Black Fork Bistro in downtown Loudonville! There are a variety of choices from sandwiches to burgers to pizza to fancier entrees. My husband and I picked up sandwiches here for a picnic before visiting last fall.

sandwich and tots from Black Fork Bistro.

Where to Stay near Mohican State Park

If you’re looking for options to stay in or near Mohican State Park, check out these links for more information! My husband and I have stayed at Black Creek Retreat and it was the perfect getaway, but best for 2 people. I haven’t personally stayed at any of the others yet, but the ones I have listed here are places I that have come recommended by people I know personally!

Things to do Near Mohican State Park

1. Riverside Park

  • Address: Birch Dr. at Pendelton St., Loudonville, OH 44842

Riverside Park near mohican state park.

We discovered this cute little park when visiting during the spring of 2021. The farm theme is lots of fun and there are a couple of different areas to play! There is a pavilion area for picnics, an area for younger kids, swings, picnic tables and more.

2. Malabar Farm State Park

  • Address: 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas, OH 44843

Malabar Farm near Mohican State Park.

Malabar Farm State Park is only about 12 minutes from Mohican State Park! This property was the home of author Louis Bromfield and is a working farm. This is a great place to visit if your kids love animals! 

3. Mt. Jeez Overlook

  • Address: look for signs in Malabar Park. Entrance is on Pleasant Valley Rd. in Perrysville, Ohio.

two boys on top of Mt. Jeez Overlook near Mohican State Park.

Part of Malabar Farm State Park, but easy to visit separately from the park, Mt. Jeez Overlook is a winding drive to the top of the mountain with a breathtaking view as your reward!

4. Ohio Bird Sanctuary

  • Address: 3774 Orweiler Rd, Mansfield, OH 44903

boy feeding a bird at Ohio Bird Sanctuary.

A little bit further out, about 25 miles from Mohican State Park is Ohio Bird Sanctuary, home to rescued birds, hiking paths, a natural play area and a songbird aviary. If you’re vacationing in the area for several days, this would be worth a visit in Mansfield, Ohio!

Are you ready to plan your visit to Mohican State Park? I hope so! There is a lot to see and do in the park! I hope you enjoy your visit!

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How to Explore Mohican State Park.

Patricia Cowherd

Wednesday 20th of October 2021

I would like to get more information on these places please. Thank you