Mohican State Park: Hike Big and Little Lyons Falls


Some of the best hiking trails in Ohio can be found at Mohican State Park.

The park is located about an hour and a half from Columbus; it is slightly longer than that if you are traveling from Cleveland. I am proud to say that when we visited Mohican State Park this past winter, it was not my first time! When I was a teenager, I used to ride horses on the trails up here. I still am looking forward to the day when I have that opportunity again.

Big and Little Lyons Falls

We spent the day hiking to Big and Little Lyons Falls. It was an easy hike. We were lucky that it happened to be raining on our Monday adventure day because Big Lyons Falls is a fairly small waterfall by volume. I imagine there are times when it’s not flowing at all. So plan accordingly if you want to see some water falling.

There is nothing quite like walking in the woods while it’s raining. The faint and constant dripping in the background, the squishy leaves giving way under your boots. A short, two-mile loop hike will take you by both Big Lyons Falls and Little Lyons Falls. These falls are located within the Clear Fork Gorge – which happens to be the deepest gorge in Ohio at 300 feet deep and 1,000 feet wide. Big Lyons Falls drops 80 feet from above into a cave recess (similar to Ash Cave). Little Lyons Falls lives up to its name, falling only 25 feet into a narrow gorge.

History of Big and Little Lyons Falls

In the same Denver Post article, the origin of the name of Big Lyons Falls and Little Lyons Falls is up for debate. Some say that the falls are named after a local Native American, Tom Lyons. Others say that the falls were name for a recluse settler, Paul Lyons, who was a local hunter and fisherman. Paul Lyons died in one of two ways: in an 1856 logging accident while the State of Ohio claims that Lyons was out in the middle of a stormy night searching for his milk cow when he fell into Clear Fork Gorge near Big Lyons Falls. Either way, legend has it his body is somewhere in the gorge near the falls.

Hemlock Gorge Trail

There is the option to make this into a longer hike (which I wish we would have done!) by combining it with the Hemlock Gorge Trail for a total hike of 6.75 miles. There are several other hiking trails at Mohican State Park to explore as well. The park offers 13 miles of trails.

It should also be fairly easy to camp somewhere close-by. According to the Denver Post, there are an estimated 2,600 campsites in and around Loudonville, Ohio. I’m not sure where they are so let me know where your favorite places to camp around Mohican State Park are!


Have you been to Mohican State Park? What are your favorite things to do there? Let us know in the comments below so we can check them out next time we’re there!

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