Finding Hemlock Falls – A hidden waterfall of Ohio

My introduction to Hemlock Falls came from an Instagram post.  Ever since then, I’ve been scheming a time and place to see this waterfall.

While Hemlock Falls is located NEAR Mohican State Park, it’s actually on private property managed by the Mohican School in the Out-of-doors.  Eventually the Falls will be on the new B & O Trail as the land was recently purchased by the Mohican Watershed Conservancy.

What does that mean for the casual traveler like me? You must call and get permission to access the site.  Don’t just show up!

The Mohican Outdoor School has field trip groups on many days and the first time I called they said we could not visit.  If you’re coming from out of town, you can call and set up a time in advance, but since we live close-by I just called on a particularly nice day to see if the site was available.

The Falls are actually across the street from the School.  My directions were to go to the school first and check-in.  Don’t do like I did and mistake someone’s home for the office!  Oye!  The school office is actually located just below the visitor parking area.  If you see a dumpster, you’re on the right track (how welcoming)!  The director I spoke with (after opening the door to her personal home), said they are working on getting better signage.  Thank you and amen. 🙂

After you park near the Field Trip Center (across the road from the school), you will need to follow signs that are located on tall poles or trees.  They aren’t the easiest to find!

We actually got off of the trail at one part and needed to cross the creek on foot to get back on the trail.  There are no blazes.

Then, once we got to the bridge where you view the falls, there were signs saying the trail we were on was actually closed.  Uhhh???

Nonetheless, the site of a 60+ foot waterfall that’s not heavily visited like Big Lyon Falls at Mohican or Ash Cave in Hocking Hills, made the momentary stress of finding the falls dissipate.

Normally I would have turned around, but I thought I should honor the sign.  So on the way back we followed signs for the “main trail” and we ended up about 300 yards down the road from our van.  Hmmmm.

If you go, I’d ask for very clear directions from the Outdoor School.  I would not have been concerned except I was alone with my three kids AND there is no cell phone reception in this area.  That’s not the best combination!

The Hemlock Falls trail is slippery when muddy, so wear your boots!  Also, our youngest is 3 and she was able to manage the trail with a little help from me.  I wouldn’t bring much younger children unless you have them in a hiking carrier.  It’s very hilly.

The # to call for Mohican School of Outdoors:  419-938-6671

Hemlock Falls is located approximately 25 minutes south of Mansfield, OH or 30 minutes north of Mount Vernon, OH.

Where to stay:  I loved my stay at the Mount Vernon Grand, a closer option would be the Hampton or Best Western on the south side of Mansfield.

Have you been to Hemlock Falls? 

 

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3 FREE places to take your family within one hour of Amish Country, Ohio

i.e. What to do when the kids have had enough of crafts, quilts, and Amish

3FREEPLACES
Mohican State Forest with just the beginning of fall color.

Once you’ve petted the farm animals, ridden a wagon past the exotic animals, and tasted enough cheese to to make the French jealous, your kids may be sick of Holmes County.  While Amish Country has gotten more family-friendly in the past 10+ years,  the kids may get anxious for more than primitive decor and baked goods.

Never fear!  I’ve made a list of 3 places to engage your kids again.  A picnic (with the perfect Swiss cheese, of course!) to any of these spots will get them out of their slump:

1.  Secrest Aboretum, Wooster, OH

Walk among the blooming flowers or falling leaves, eat your lunch in the shade, then conquer the giant slide.  If you have little ones, the paths are perfect for bringing the stroller to burn off some of those family-style meals you have enjoyed. 🙂

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Teenagers or toddlers- everyone will enjoy this slide!

2. Mohican State Park and Forest, near Loudonville, OH

Just to the west of Holmes County is a state forest with cascading waterfalls, ancient rock formations, and a fire tower climb that is NOT for the faint of heart.  We like to park near the  covered bridge and hike the Big Lyons trail.  When you come through Holmes County on SR 39 west, be sure to stop at Harvey’s farm market near Nashville and pick up some fresh produce for your picnic.

Knox Co 4Honey Run waterfall near Howard, OH

Recently acquired by the local park district, this 25-foot waterfall and adjacent hiking trail are popular among locals.  The creek bed is a nice place to cool off on a hot day, but the surrounding colorful foliage makes for a fun daytrip in the fall.  If you’re coming to Holmes County from Columbus, this is the perfect place to stretch that isn’t too far off of SR 62.  (More to do in Knox County HERE)

 

Have you been to Amish Country before?  Did your kids enjoy it?  Have you been to any of these places?  

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