If you’re looking for a trail with minimal traffic, gorgeous views, peaceful sounds, light leaks through the trees and a decent workout, the Hemlock Gorge Trail at Mohican State Park is for you.
The Hemlock Gorge Trail at Mohican State Park in Loudonville, Ohio is one of the lesser known trails at the park. Rated “Difficult,” this trail and Hog Hollow Trail are both used remarkably less than the other popular trails like Lyons Falls and Pleasant Hill Dam trails at the park. Most of Hemlock Gorge is a single lane with vegetation reaching onto the trail.
The trail is one way, meaning it doesn’t loop. It starts at campgrounds on both ends. I believe this is why many people don’t know this trail exists. If you’re stopping by to hike without being at the campgrounds, you might miss that it’s even on the map.
How to Access the Hemlock Gorge Trail (and Parking)
If you aren’t a guest at the campgrounds, you can park by Route 3 at the Mohican State Park parking lot (literally by the road) and walk the mile back to the trail head. If you’re near the covered bridge, you can park in the picnic area parking and walk the near mile back to the trail head at the back of the campground there. If you’re at the covered bridge parking, you can also walk back through the campground halfway and pick up the Shelter House Trail. It will drop you off right at the entrance of the Hemlock Gorge trail. Fair warning, the Shelter House Trail is a 300 ft incline and will get the heart pumping. I typically start at the covered bridge, do the Hemlock Trail and then pick up the Shelter House trail on my way back to my truck.
Walking the Hemlock Gorge Trail at Mohican State Park
Winding along the river with amazing sites and sounds the whole length of the trail, the Hemlock Gorge Trail is named after the Hemlock trees that line the glacier-carved river. There’s a little dip down to the river where the water calms and the Hemlock trees reach out over and shadow the river. This is my favorite spot to stop and take a breather, grab a snack or hydrate.
There are a lot of roots, rocks and elevation changes along the Hemlock Gorge Trail.
A sunlit set of steps along the trail offers a little help with what might have been a slippery portion of the trail when it’s wet or raining.
The sound of water permeates nearly the whole trail, with the exception being the section under the Hemlocks.
It may not look like it in this photo, but this is a steep incline with roots and rocks to navigate. Sure footing is a must on this trail.
Hemlock Gorge Trail Map
To find the Hemlock Gorge Trail on the map, look at the bottom left hand side of the Legend. You’ll see the title and the arrow pointing at the map there.
The Mohican State Park is home to several trails, the most popular being the Lyons Falls Trails and the Pleasant Hill Dam Trail because of their waterfalls and ease of use.