Location: Southeast Ohio
Primary Attractions: Second-growth forest, steep, rugged hills, deep gorge, wetlands, fire tower, forested creeks
Miles of trail: 80+
Entry Fees: None
Operating Hours: Open year-round. 6:00 AM - 11:00 PM. Backpacking area open 24 hours.
Camping: Ten "park and pack" walk-in campsites along various trails. Registration at kiosk required (located at forest offices), but no fee. Must camp within campsite boundaries, clearly marked by signage. Campsites range from dry ridge-top locations to creek-side sites.
Mohican State Forest, is located in Ashland county, Ohio. The forest surrounds Mohican State Park, which contains the National Natural Landmark Clearfork Gorge. The Mohican area is well know in the state for it's outdoor recreation opportunities of canoeing, camping, zip-lines, mountain biking, and more. The forest itself has mountain bike, snowmobile, and bridle trails in addition to foot-traffic-only paths winding through the woods.
The trail system is very interconnected, with numerous loops possible. Along these trails, there are ten backcountry campsites, some open to horses. Three of these sites are on the north side of the gorge, requiring no more than 1/2 mile walk to reach from the parking area. However, these sites are dry, and water must be carried in. The remaining 7 range from 4 sites directly adjacent to Pine Run (a small tributary creek of the Mohican River), 1 within 1/4 mile, and 2 remaining dry, ridge-top sites.
As these sites are first-come first-served, it is prudent to arrive at the registration kiosk early on a Friday if you would like your choice of sites. On weekends, even in winter, the choicest sites are taken quickly.
While the primary trails to reach the creek-side sites require some rock-hopping and wading, the interconnected trail system, and additional parking areas mean that slightly longer or less direct routes avoid this; which is advised during winter or heavy rains.