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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hiking in Mohican State Park

On Sunday, David and I finished up his vacation week (spent working at home) with a trip to Richland County, Ohio and Mohican State Park. The Clear Fork of the Mohican River joins up with the Black Fork to form the Mohican River which is dammed to form Mohican Lake. Below the spillway, the river cuts through a 300-foot-deep gorge which was formed 12,000 years ago by the melting glacial waters of the Ice Age, creating magnificent sandstone outcroppings and steep cliffs. The Clearfork Gorge has been designated a Registered National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service partly because of its towering hemlock trees and a stand of virgin white pines. The park was once the hunting grounds of the Delaware Indians.

There are 13 miles of hiking trails in the park and an additional 32 miles in the adjacent Mohican-Memorial State Forest. There are also 8.5 miles of mountain bike trails which can be used by hikers. Work continues to expand this to 24.5 miles. There are a number of bridle trails which was evident by the scores of horse trailers we saw parked in the designated areas.

We only managed to hike about 3.5 miles on this trip, but parts of it were very rigorous and, if it had rained recently, would have been nearly impassable. Luckily, it was a beautiful day, perfect for hiking.

We started our hike with food. We had brunch at the Mohican Lodge.

 


Where the dam forms the lake. We parked here to start our hike.

 


The down-river side of the dam.

 


An uprooted hemlock tree. Now, if I had been a smart photographer, I would have had David stand beside it to show how huge it was, but I'm not that smart. Yet. You'll have to trust me when I tell you that the root system was at least fifteen feet across and the tree itself was probably 75 feet tall. I'm just guessing here, so don't quote me.

 
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Big Lyons Falls which only had a trickle of water as it was fairly dry in the area. There is also a Little Lyons Falls, but I couldn't get a good picture because of the dense vegetation.

 


A sandstone rock carved by the waters coming from the waterfall and also some human carvings as well.

 


The Clear Fork draws a lot of fly fishermen. This young man wasn't having much luck. Fly fishing is a sport that David intends to explore when he retires.

 


The covered bridge where the trail loops back around. It seems to attract a lot of Harley riders.
 
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After finishing the loop trail, this is what we faced to get back to the parking lot at the top of the dam. Yikes!

 


This is the view from the top where I was resting, and by that I mean trying not to die from a heart attack. The little speck you see on the right is a nine-year-old girl running down the hill in flip-flops!! And, yes, it is just as steep as it looks!

 


I hope you enjoyed this part of our day. Tomorrow I will take you on a little tour of an historic farm in the same area.

25 comments:

California Girl said...

At first glance, the sandstone erosion looks like a face in repose.

Wonderful park and must have been a fantastic day.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh, I LOVE hiking in areas like that! That is what I miss the most about Indiana. We have some nice hiking here in Florida but it is just too buggy and hot for about six months out of the year. We are going up to my parents next week for two weeks. I doubt I can get my parents to hike a trail, but maybe I can convince my sister to come with the kids and I. We are all fit after all the hiking we did in Poland!

Susan said...

Cali Girl, you're right! I didn't even see that. Thanks for pointing it out.

That was our first visit, but I'm sure it won't be the last. It would be nice to spend a couple of days at the lodge and explore some of the longer trails.

Susan said...

Sandy, I know what you mean about Floriday. When I visited my sister a couple of years ago in Cross Creek, I would have liked to hike the Birding Trail near the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings home, but I was alone and too afraid of rattlers, plus it was stinkin' hot, so I didn't.

You should be in good shape for a hike in Indiana! Are your parents close to the Ohio border?

Susan said...

Well, I've never been to Floriday, but I have been to Florida many times! Sheesh!

Char said...

great shots

CottageGirl said...

Ah! I needed that virtual hiking trip into that beautiful country! Don't you just love all of the surprises you find on a hiking trail!

GREAT pics, Susan!


BTW -- it's Debbie --- I think you got confused by my clear-as-mud writing a few weeks ago. I apologize for the confusion!

JackeeG4glamorous said...

I love hikes in parks just like this. What a cool day! Nice picture - love the one of the sandstone face.

VioletSky said...

Oh yeah, nothing like going for a hike - or run - in flip flops!

Looks very nice for hiking.

I'm feeling a bit tired now, and trust part 2 on the farm won't be quite so breathless.

Susan said...

Thanks, Char!

Sandy Nawrot said...

No actually my parents are on the other side, just a little drive to Illinois. Close enough for shopping. When I went to Ball State, and then afterwards worked in Fort Wayne, Ohio was a common destination!

Ruth said...

I'm glad the little girl was running down to show the perspective in that shot - wow!

I used to hike a lot, in college. I'm sorry I don't do it much now, but this would be so pretty - and tiring - for it. At least you got the energy you needed in brunch first.

That covered bridge is awesome.

Susan said...

Oops, Debbie! Sorry about that! Yes, we really enjoyed hiking somewhere different for a change. We usually go to the Hocking Hills region in southeastern Ohio, so this was a nice departure.

Susan said...

Hey Jackee! Thanks! We'll have to go on a hike together someday!

Susan said...

Sanna, believe it or not, we saw a lot of people hiking in flip-flops! They were mostly down along the river, but still! Tomorrow you may get tired of reading, but I promise you won't get tired from hiking! :)

Susan said...

Ruthie, you will have to come for a visit and I'll take you hiking. It's great for the butt and thighs. Of course, you wouldn't know that by looking at me, because I spend a lot more time sitting on mine than I do hiking! And then there's the ice cream. ugh!

Someday I will do a photo blog with the covered bridges in our county. There are several.

Alaine said...

I really enjoyed that walk but I couldn't eat a thing before it!

Tell David about DMJs site, all about flyfishing. At the bottom of my favourite blogs roll.

Susan said...

Ahhh, Alaine, I thought I felt your presence a couple of times! :) Or maybe I heard your tummy rumbling from hunger!

I will take a look at the flyfishing site and show it to my hubby. Thank you.

Cindy said...

What an awesome place to hike. I'm just getting around to reading your last few posts... slow down girl! I've been doing more hiking than sitting these days, which is different for me. Trying to eliminate some of that winter fat that seems to have settled on my thighs and butt.

Great post. I'll be reading more later tonight.

Susan said...

Cindy, I think you would like hiking there. It's not as dramatic as where you live, but it has its charms.

Believe me, I know about that winter butt thing! I need to get off mine more.

I'm definitely going to take a break for a few days. Those two posts yesterday took me nearly all day. Sheesh! I need to get a life! But, thank you very much for the compliment!

Oliag said...

Loved going on this hike with you! I especially liked the sandstone carved by water and hand...and lunch at the lodge sounds good too:) We'll be doing a lot of hiking in Maine on our vacation in August and I'm already worried about not being in good shape...

The Bumbles said...

I always hiked in my flimsy sandals - I never thought to bring any other shoes with me on vacation, forgetting that we inevitably would come across some fun place to wander - like Yosemite! After that lesson I learned to bring proper footwear :0)

Thanks for the beautiful hiking post - that sandstone looks like something out of that "The Scream" painting! Too cool.

Susan said...

Oliag, I enjoyed having you along! Believe me, I'm not in very good shape! I have to take it easy on the climbs up. And I take a walking stick...it really helps.

Susan said...

Molly, uh yeah, Yosemite is NOT a place to go hiking in sandals! No way!

You're welcome and thank you!

The rock does kinda look like "The Scream", only more relaxed!

Barb said...

You're right - wonderful stairs (especially coming at the END of your hike!). The park is wonderful with so many scenic spots. Lovely photos.