“I listen to the wind to the wind of my soul.” Words from a song by 70’s rocker Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, from his song The Wind.
“These words are almost a slogan for Loudonville, heart of Mohican Country,” according to Bob Yun, Mohican-Loudonville Visitors Bureau Director. “Peaceful quiet is everywhere giving visitors numerous opportunities to re-connect with inner self and genuinely relax on their trip to Loudonville.”
With 45 scenic miles of hiking trails, Mohican State Park is a centerpiece of quiet. The Lyons Falls Trail snakes through the incredible Clear Fork Gorge, a National Natural Landmark. Start at the iconic covered Bridge, read the historic marker. Listen to restful breeze in the pine trees or branches rubbing against one another. Feet fall on pine needles, glacial age stones, the leaves and twigs. Watch a squirrel scurry up a tree and listen to water splash over the rocks in the river. During the journey, stop for a moment. Close your eyes and breath in the fragrant aroma of the forest.
Hike to Big Lyons Falls with awesome rock cliffs more than 70 feet high above. Hike the new steps up the rock face to see the trail from high above. It was constructed with by volunteers and funded by grants, financial donations and materials. Make your way past moss and lichen covered Little Lyons Falls to Pleasant Hill Lake. Enjoy the Clear Fork Gorge from the Lake Dam looking 300 feet into the heavily forested river valley. Wow!
Elsewhere in the park, seek out the quiet of the Gorge Overlook. Enjoy the Gorge foliage, the only stand of trees surviving from glacial times. You might even see an eagle riding the thermals from one of the two Gorge viewing platforms. For breath-taking views of the Forest and surrounding countryside, climb the nearby 80 foot tall, depression era Fire Tower.
For a different Gorge perspective, ride a mountain bicycle or bridle trails around the rim. Listen to the crunch of the tires or hoofs on the dirt trails. The nine mile bridle trail is a favorite with area horse lovers. Focus your mental energy on riding the top rated, challenging bicycle route. The 24-mile trail is rated as the top mountain bicycle trail in Ohio.
Step back in time at the Wolf Creek Grist Mill, an authentic 1830’s mill that predates the industrial revolution. The Mill property, part of Mohican State Park, is open all year long. The Mill and Fromme Cabin are open most summer weekends and during special events. Hike the trails, sit by the mill stream, enjoy the Mill grounds from the viewing platform behind the Mill. The scenic ¾ mile loop trail is one of the steepest trails in the Mohican area.
Readers of Ohio Magazine named Mohican State Park as one of Ohio’s best places in Ohio for a picnic. Mohican State Park and surrounding Forest has numerous pavilions for the family to grill hamburgers, hot dogs, and marshmallows with the kids. Pavilions next to the main campground, at Overlook Gorge, and the North Park Area near the Forest Station are popular picnic spots. The stores along South Market Street and downtown have all the food and supplies needed for great picnics.
Canoe Capital of Ohio, yes that’s Loudonville too. Listen to the water lap again the canoe, the paddle breaking the river water. Challenge the kids to see who can count the most frogs. Enjoy the river scenery which ranges from riverside campgrounds, summer cottages, farm fields, and forests. The area has six canoe liveries offering trips from 30 minutes to 2 or 3 hours. Weekends are popular and can be busy. Look for quite on the Mohican River on a canoe, raft, kayak, or tube on weekdays during the summer and week-long in spring and fall.
How about kicking back on a rocking chair or lounge chair on the porch of a cozy cabin? The State Park and many area campgrounds offer cabins from basic to deluxe. Sit around a campfire signing “Michael Row Your Boat a Shore” with the grandkids. Enjoy the pop of the wood in the fire ring. Feel the warmth on your face, yet your back is chilled by the cool evening air. Sweatshirt time. The laughter of kids playing old fashion board games is a perfect tonic for the times.
“Found the winds of your soul yet,” Yun asks? “These are a few example your family can find and listen to the winds of your soul.” No tablets, smart phones, laptops, MP3 players and hand-held video games. Just the family, the love and enjoyment of nature in everyone’s soul, in Loudonville. Restful, relaxing, rejuvenating. An great affordable and close-by getaway from our hectic everyday lives.
For more information on planning your family summer vacation in Loudonville and to request a free 2013 Getaway Planner, contact the Mohican-Loudonville Visitors Bureau toll-free at 877-2MOHICAN (877-266-4422) or email requests to Info@DiscoverMohican.com. The 2013 Guide is packed with 52 pages of family fun including a special canoe livery and Mohican State Park maps. A virtual Getaway Planner Guide and River Report is also available on their web page, www.DiscoverMohican.com.