The Hidden Castles and Treehouses of Ohio

Ohio’s Mohican Forest is a real-life storybook adventure.

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Ohio
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When you read about Ohio, you’re likely to hear about Columbus or Cleveland. But one of the Buckeye state’s most charming and unexpected destinations actually lies at the midpoint between them, tucked among winding roads and swaying branches. Ashland County’s Mohican-Memorial State Forest and its surrounding area has become a popular year-round vacation spot for those in the know.

From staying in an actual treehouse to flying (okay, ziplining) over the forest canopy, Ohio's Mohican Forest is perfect for anyone who loves a bit of storybook-worthy magic. Here are five of our favorite adventures in this one-of-a-kind place:

1. Treehouses

At The Mohicans, a set of six bespoke treehouse cabins near Loudonville, visitors are lulled to sleep amongst the treetops. But these are not your kids’ patchwork treehouse hideouts: each offers cozy, upscale accommodations, thoughtful details, wraparound porches, and sweeping valley views. Two were even custom-designed by “Treehouse Masters” star Pete Nelson.

2. Canoeing

At the Mohican Adventures Family Fun Center and Canoe Livery, you can choose a day of adventure by river or land — or a little of both! Start your day with a round of miniature golf or a zip around the Go-Kart track, then cool down in a canoe, kayak or tube down the lazy Mohican River.

3. Ziplining

What’s a fairytale adventure if no one flies? At Tree Frog Canopy Tours, you can! No experience or skill is required, just a willingness to let go and try something new at the course billed as Ohio’s longest, fastest and highest.

4. Hiking 

Unlike Hansel and Gretel, your trek through the woods will only lead to good exercise, breathtaking river valley views and great memories in this scenic state forest that includes nearly 5,000 acres, 32 miles of hiking trails, 22 miles of bridle trails, 8 miles of snowmobile trails, a 24-mile mountain biking trail and more. Pine Run Creek, the Fire Tower (a great scenic stop-off) and Clearfork Gorge are popular stops along the way.

5. A Storybook Castle

Every good adventure needs a castle, and Landoll’s Mohican Castle doesn’t disappoint. From the grand archway announcing you’ve arrived to its secret home in the woods, this Grimm Brothers-worthy creation includes turrets, extensive gardens, stained-glass windows, themed rooms in which overnight guests can stay, and a great onsite restaurant to grab a bite of brunch. Relax for a moment on the row of rocking chairs along the elevated front porch to allow yourself time to digest all you’ve eaten and experienced. Visitors are warmly invited to explore every corner of the extensive grounds, sculptures and towers. It’s the perfect way to end a weekend “happily ever after!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brooke Preston is a writer and humorist based in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. Her work has been published by The New York Times, Real Simple, McSweeney's, Paste, Electric Literat... more

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Fri, 02/21/2020 - 10:50