An oasis for exploration and active outdoor excursions, Ohio’s Mohican State Park should be on the list of places to visit for any visitor to the Buckeye State. Located just 60 miles southwest of Akron—and 80 miles from Cleveland—the park offers a tranquil escape from those bustling urban settings
Things to Do
Visitors to Mohican State Park will find plenty to see and do there. Here are a few options for exploring everything it has to offer.
Hiking/Trail Running/Horseback Riding
Mohican State Park has 13 miles of mixed-use trail dedicated to hiking, horseback riding, and trail running. Most of the routes are reserved for visitors traveling on foot, but several trails allow riders to share the way. The park even hosts one of the oldest ultramarathons in the country in the form of the Mohican Trail 100, which has been taking place every year since 1989.
The park is home to the Mohican Mountain Biking Trail, a 25-mile course that is shared with hikers. The route loops through the Clear Fork Gorge and offers some of the best access to that stunning landscape. Considered one of the best mountain bike trails in the state, the park plays host to the Mohican MTB100 each year. The 100-mile-long suffer-fest draws entrants from across the country.
Paddling/Tubing the River
Kayaking, canoeing, and tubing the Mohican River are popular activities in the park, particularly during the warm summer months. Don’t expect wild whitewater, as this is more of a slow, gentle float. But it is a lovely way to explore the park’s unique setting.
If you like fishing, Mohican State Park has a lot to offer. The park’s rivers, lakes, and streams are stocked with large and smallmouth bass, bluegills, and white crappie. Better still, the Clear Fork River is one of the few places in Ohio where anglers can catch brown trout. All state fishing regulations apply, and a valid license is required for all anglers aged 16 and older.
Snowmobiling/Cross Country Skiing
Mohican State Park is open year-round, offering outdoor recreation in every season. During the winter months, the park’s trails are open for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, provided there is enough snow on the ground.
Best Hikes and Trails
Mohican State Park’s 13 miles of dedicated hiking trail may not seem like much, but each of the routes is a great way to stretch your legs and explore the surrounding landscapes. Depending on the path they choose, hikers can wander along a gorgeous lake or river, wander past waterfalls, or plunge deep into the forest. If you want to get fully immersed in nature, there is no better way to do it.
The 2.5-mile Gorge Overlook Trail is arguably the best hike in the entire park. This loop route is moderately difficult, with steep climbs throughout. Those who take on the challenge will be rewarded with wonderful views of the rolling landscape, including a portion of the route that follows along the banks of the Clear Fork River. Sturdy hiking boots and trekking poles are strongly recommended.
The park’s other great hikes include the 2-mile Hemlock Gorge Trail, which wanders past a lovely covered bridge, and the Lyons Fall Trail, which includes two spectacular waterfalls. Those who are pressed for time may want to give the Gristmill Overlook Loop a go. At .7 miles, it isn’t long, but it can be steep, with a scenic lookout as a payoff.
As already noted, the 25-mile-long Mohican Mountain Bike Trail is open to hikers and backpackers looking to camp in the backcountry. While you do have to watch out for mountain bike traffic, this moderately-difficult trek does offer some amazing views of the gorge. It is a loop route for anyone looking to walk its entire length, although day hikers will probably want to turn back after the 3- or 4-mile mark.
Visitors looking to camp in the park will find the Mohican State Park Campground is an excellent place to stay. It offers accommodations for tent campers, car campers, and RVers. It even has well-maintained and comfortable cabins available for rent.
The park has a total of 184 campsites available, including 100 with electricity, 51 with full RV hookups, and 33 non-electric sites. Hot showers and flush toilets are conveniently located nearby, and there is even a camp store and a dump station on the premises. Visitors will find a playground, volleyball and basketball courts, and a swimming pool that is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The park’s Nature Center is also open during the summer months. Wi-Fi is available in the campgrounds as well.
The well-appointed cabins come with air conditioning and heat. Each can accommodate up to six people with two private bedrooms and a sleeper sofa. Other amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, a fireplace, a screened-in porch, and a bathroom complete with a toilet and a hot shower.
Reservations for the campsites can be made up to six months in advance, while the cabins can be reserved as much as a year out. Visitors are urged to book their stay early, particularly during the busy summer travel season. Reservations can be made online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
Other than the cabins that are available to rent, are no hotels or lodges located inside Mohican State Park. The closest accommodations can be found in nearby Mansfield, Ohio, located about 20 miles from the park entrance. There, travelers will find an assortment of national hotel chains available at a wide array of price points.
The Mohican Lodge and Conference Center is located just outside the park and offers hotel rooms, onsite dining, and a host of activities. The lodge is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and is a comfortable place to stay after a busy day in the park. Accommodations include rooms with queen and king-size beds, with accessibility options for guests with special needs.
Homestay rentals are an alternative option, both in Mansfield and Akron. There are also several boutique hotels in Loudon, Ohio, including Landoll’s Mohican Castle, an upscale resort that is just two miles from the park.
Tips for Your Visit
There are no entry fees for visiting Mohican State Park, which makes it a fun, affordable destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurous travelers.
Mohican State Park offers outdoor recreation all year round, but there are some activities that are reserved for the warmer summer months. For instance, the swimming pool near the campgrounds is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Similarly, the park’s Nature Center is also open during the summer month and on some weekends in the off-season. Tubing and kayaking the river are best done in the summer as well.
Cell phone service is fairly reliable in most areas of the park, with only an occasional dead zone depending on the carrier. Wi-Fi is available in the Mohican campgrounds for those who need an internet connection.
RV campers will find 51 campsites with full hookups, including electricity, water, and sewer service. This is somewhat uncommon in a state park campground but makes Mohican a great place to park motorhomes and travel trailers.
One of the more unique activities for visitors in Mohican State Park is gem mining. There are a number of mines throughout the area, and it is possible to find gems within the park itself. Visit the camp store to get started.
Another popular activity for visitors is climbing the Mohican State Park Fire Tower. The 80-foot-tall structure was built in 1934 and offers expansive views in all directions.
There are no restaurants within the park, but for a good meal before or after your visit, stop by the Mohican Country Market, Trails End Restaurant, or the Black Fork Bistro.