Mohican State Park: 3 Perfect Days for Nature Lovers
This Ohio State Park offers hiking, fishing, birding, and canoeing
Springtime in Ohio is one of the best times to enjoy nature as wildlife is on the move and the buds on the trees begin to make their appearance. Mohican State Park Lodge, tucked under the dense forest canopy of Mohican State Park is the perfect place for nature lovers to stay and play in one of the most scenic regions of Ohio.
Enjoy the outdoors in “the canoe capital of Ohio” with a hike at Mohican State Park or by observing native birds at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary. When you’re based at Mohican State Park Lodge, you have easy access to outdoor activities in nearby Loudonville and Malabar Farm State Park as well as fishing or disc golf at Charles Mill Lake Park.
DAY 1 (ARRIVAL DAY)
Spend the day in Mohican State Park where there are more than 1,000 acres to explore. Hiking, fishing, and mountain biking are popular activities in the park. Trek some of the 13 miles of hiking trails. The popular Lyon Falls Trail leads you to a covered bridge while the more moderate Hemlock Gorge and North Rim trails take you through some of the best scenery in central Ohio. Climb the park fire tower for the best view of the region.
If you want to venture beyond the park, you can choose from 32 miles of trails in the adjacent Mohican-Memorial State Forest.
Satisfy that appetite you’ve worked up outdoors at Mohican Lodge’s Bromfield’s Dining Room with inspiring views of Pleasant Hill Lake and the surrounding hills through floor-ceiling windows.
Wind down the evening under the stars as you make s’mores at one of the lodge’s outdoor fire pits.
After a restful night’s sleep in one of Mohican’s lodge rooms (all with private balconies) grab a quick breakfast in Bromfield’s Dining Room before you head out for a full day to explore the area.
Malabar Farm State Park
A visit to Malabar Farm State Park is an unforgettable glimpse into the 900-acre working farm and dream home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield. Spend time on the grounds of this Historic Landmark by hiking on the Doris Duke or Jungle Brook trails, surrounded by the forests, boardwalks, rock outcroppings, and maple trees that produce some of the area’s best syrup.
Next, stroll to the rustic Pugh Cabin, tucked away in the farm’s sugar bush and famous for being featured in a few opening scenes of The Shawshank Redemption. Before lunch, take a tour of the 32-room “Big House” and onetime home of Louis Bromfield with an Ohio State Park naturalist. You will see the study where the Pulitzer Prize winning novels Pleasant Valley and Malabar Farm were written and the suite where Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall stayed during their honeymoon, after being married at Malabar.
Follow the Shawshank Trail to The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield for a self-guided tour through the historic, and allegedly haunted, prison that was the backdrop for the famous movie.
Round out the afternoon with a stop at Charles Mill Lake Park. Enjoy a hike or fishing in some of the most stunning scenery in Richland and Ashland counties on the 2,000-acre grounds.
Stop for dinner at The Cabin Tavern-Grille in Ashland for comfort food featuring fresh seafood, beef, pasta, and salad in a quiet atmosphere.
When you return to the lodge, relax with a swim in the indoor pool or with a nightcap at Boxers Lounge.
After you check out of the lodge, head to the Ohio Bird Sanctuary, a rehabilitation facility for native Ohio birds. Walk one of the wooded trails and marshes that follow the Clear Fork River or take part in one of the educational programs and raptor show.
Lunch and Afternoon
Stop for lunch in Loudonville at the elegant Landoll’s Mohican Castle where the Cooper Mug Bar & Grille serves up farm-to-table fare. Before heading home, stroll through historic downtown Loudonville to browse the stores and specialty shops that feature unique handmade crafts. Be sure to take home some locally made maple syrup.
For more information and reservations, visit www.mohicanstateparklodge.com or call 800-282-7275.
For more travel experiences available from Xanterra Parks & Resorts and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.
Written by: Anietra Hamper
Ohio resident Anietra Hamper is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in covering outdoor activities.