MOHICAN STATE FOREST
Mohican-Memorial State Forest is located in southern Ashland County, midway between Columbus and Cleveland. It is easily reached from I-71 and State Routes 97 and 3. The natural attributes of the area combined with state and nearby commerical facilities have made this region one of the more popular year-round attractions of the state. Mohican-Memorial State Forest is managed under the multiple-use concept for timber and wildlife habitat, forestry research and demonstrations of good forest land management, primitive recreation and natural beauty, tree seed for forest nurseries and protection of soils and watershed. Timber products obtained from harvest, stand improvement and thinning operations include saw logs, veneer logs with some pulpwood and firewood. Pine plantation thinnings yield fence and guard posts and poles. During the spring and fall fire seasons, a major objective of the forest organization is to prevent, detect and suppress wildfires that occur on state and private land within the protection district. The many gas wells and transmission lines that you see are a result of the development of a natural gas storage field underlying the forest. Land acquisition for the forest began in 1928 and has continued with the accumulation of over 4,500 acres (exclusive of state park land). The land use history of the forest is typical of eastern Ohio. Original forests were cleared for agriculture, but eventually erosion ensued and fertility decreased. Farms were abandoned and subsequently reverted to brush and woodland. At the time of acquisition, planting of trees on abandoned land was a high priority activity. This resulted in the many plantations of white and red pine and mixtures of these and other pine species that you see today. Much of the tree planting was done by personnel of the Civilian Conservation Corps whose camp was located on the the forest during the 1930s. Native hardwood of the oak-hickory and beech-maple types and associated species of gum, aspen, ash, cherry and walnut occur on unplanted areas. Native white pine and hemlock are also found.
The history of Mohican State Forest in Ohio dates back to the 19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Delaware and Mohican tribes. However, after the Treaty of Greeneville in 1795, white settlers began to move into the region.
In the early 1800s, settlers began logging the dense forests of the area, seeking valuable timber resources such as beech, maple, and oak. The logging industry thrived in Mohican, and by the mid-1800s, much of the forest had been cleared.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the federal government initiated several conservation and restoration programs under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. One of these programs was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which aimed to provide employment to young men while also restoring and developing natural resources.
In 1933, the Ohio Division of Forestry and the federal government collaborated to establish Mohican State Forest. The CCC played a crucial role in the development of the forest, employing approximately 200 men who worked on reforestation, trail construction, fire control, and other conservation projects. They planted thousands of trees and built recreational amenities still in use today, such as campgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a scenic overlook tower.
The hard work of the CCC and subsequent conservation efforts allowed the forest to flourish once again. Today, Mohican State Forest covers an area of about 4,525 acres and is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for camping, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
In addition to its natural beauty, the forest is home to historical landmarks like the Lyons Falls, a 300-foot waterfall, and the Wolf Creek Grist Mill, a working 19th-century grist mill reconstructed in the 1970s.
The history of Mohican State Forest is a story of early settlement, rampant logging, conservation efforts, and the restoration of a once-depleted forest to its current state. It remains an important natural and recreational area in Ohio, preserving its rich history and serving as a sanctuary for both humans and wildlife.
Day-UseHiking Trail, miles24
Mountain Bike Trailsyes
Bridle Trails, miles22
1. Mohican State Park Campground: This campground offers over 100 campsites, including electric sites for RVs and non-electric tent sites. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms with showers and flush toilets.
2. River Run Family Campground: Located on the banks of Black Fork river in Loudonville near to the state forest area offering full hook-up RV spots as well as primitive camping options.
3. Wally World Riverside Resort: Offers a variety of accommodations from cabins to tents along with amenities like swimming pool access and fishing opportunities nearby.
4. Smith's Pleasant Valley Family Camping & Cabins: It is located just outside the park boundaries but still within easy reach of all that Mohican has to offer - hiking trails, canoeing etc.
5. Mohican Reservation Campgrounds & Canoeing: They provide both campsite rentals (primitive or water/electric)and cabin rentals.
6. Charles Mill Lake Park: A bit further away than some other options but it provides great lake:side camping experience.
7. Austin's Landing at Paddler's Paradise: Another riverside option which also includes facilities such as hot shower houses, laundry room etc.
8. Long Lake Outdoor Center: Provides rustic style group lodging facility perfect for large groups who want an outdoor adventure together.
9. Loudonville/Mohican KOA Holiday: Known for its family-friendly atmosphere this place features deluxe patio pull-through site perfect if you are traveling by your own vehicle.