You can’t get there from here if you don’t know what here and there are

Muskingum River, downstream of Dresden, Ohio

Years ago, I put together a guide to local geographical terms for my fellow reporters and the editors at the Ashland Times-Gazette.

I thought it might be a good idea to share it with fellow journalists from other publications, local tourism folks and the public in general because there is a lot of confusion about these things. (For some reason, I have taken it upon myself to become a storehouse of useless knowledge for such things.)

Eventually, I hope to put together a PDF with maps and photos. In the meantime, here is the text of my guide to Mohican Country geographical references in hard copy and — if I can pull it off — a downloadable PDF.

YOUR GUIDE TO MOHICAN COUNTRY GEOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES

Compiled by IRV OSLIN

Black Fork of the Mohican River — Originates west of Mansfield near Walker Lake Road, flows north through Shelby before turning east then south. Portions in Richland and Ashland counties. It is impounded by Charles Mill Dam. Downstream of the dam, Black Fork flows under Ohio 603 and Ohio 39, through Perrysville and Loudonville (including the liveries south of the village Ohio 3). The Native American village of Greentown was located on the stretch between Rocky Fork and Perrysville, downstream of County Road 1075. Rocky Fork of the Mohican River flows into Black Fork downstream from Charles Mill Dam. Rocky Fork flows down from Mansfield. Rocky Fork flows under Ohio 603 between Ohio 95 and Ohio 39.
Charles Mill Dam — Impounds Black Fork of the Mohican River south of Mifflin.
Charles Mill Lake — Not to be confused with Charles Mill Dam. The lake is the body of water behind the dam. Note, Charles Mill Lake and Charles Mill Lake Park are managed by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. The dam is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is NOT Charles Mill Reservoir, as some call it.
Charles Mill Lake Park — A Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District-run park on the shores of Charles Mill Lake. Note, the campground, marina and beach are in Ashland County. The western half of the lake and Eagle Point Campground (on Ohio 430) are in Richland County.
Cinnamon Lake — The lake itself is an impoundment of Muddy Fork of the Mohican River. The privately run residential community surrounding it is the third-largest in the county after the City of Ashland and Loudonville.
Clear Fork of the Mohican River — Sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Clear Fork River or the Clearfork. This branch of the Mohican River originates west of Mansfield. It is impounded at the Clear Fork Reservoir in Richland County and again at Pleasant Hill Lake. Clear Fork passes through Clear Fork Gorge in the Mohican-Memorial State Forest, under the covered bridge and past both Mohican State Park campgrounds. It flows into Black Fork south of Loudonville to become the main body of the Mohican River.
continental divide — The divide between the Lake Erie and Ohio River watersheds, part of which passes through northern Ashland County. This is not the Continental Divide; it is a continental divide and therefore not capitalized. (The Continental Divide runs from Alaska to Mexico, mostly along the Rocky Mountains.)
Lake Fork of the Mohican River — The last fork to flow into the mainstream. Muddy Fork and Jerome Fork of the Mohican River join about two miles upstream of the Mohicanville Dam to form Lake Fork.
Mohican Juvenile Correctional Facility — Located in the Mohican-Memorial State Forest (not Mohican State Park as has been mistakenly stated in some stories). The postal address is Loudonville. (This facility has closed.)
Mohican-Memorial State Forest — Not to be confused with Mohican State Park. The forest covers about 5,000 acres on both sides of Clear Fork of the Mohican River and includes Clear Fork Gorge, the fire tower, the covered bridge and Lyons Falls. The forest is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry.
Mohican River — The main body of the Mohican River is formed at the confluence of Black Fork of the Mohican River and Clear Fork of the Mohican River, south of Loudonville and east of Mohican State Park. Lake Fork of the Mohican River flows into the main body further downstream, near Spellacy. Clear Fork, Black Fork and Lake Fork are the major forks of the Mohican River. They are parts of the river nonetheless and should not be referred to as the Clear Fork River, the Black Fork River or Lake Fork River. The same is true of the Mohican River’s three minor forks: Rocky, Jerome and Muddy. When the Mohican River joins the Kokosing, it becomes the Walhonding River. The Muskingum River is formed by the confluence of the Walhonding and Tuscarawas rivers in Coshocton. It all ends up in the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. It’s all part of the Muskingum River Watershed.
Mohican State Park — A state park with camping facilities and rental cabins. The main campground is on Ohio 3 south of Loudonville. The primitive camping area is accessed through the Mohican-Memorial State Forest by way of Ohio 97 or County Road 3006. The primitive campground is just downstream of the covered bridge over Clear Fork of the Mohican River. Although the park is contiguous to Mohican-Memorial State Forest, it is a separate entity.
Pleasant Hill Dam — Impounds Clear Fork of the Mohican River at County Road 3006, south of Perrysville. It features the Morning Glory Spillway, not the “Glory Hole Spillway” as one of our writers once referred to it.
Pleasant Hill Lake — The body of water impounded by Pleasant Hill Dam. As is the case with Charles Mill Lake and Dam, the lake and park are managed by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and the dam is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. NOT Pleasant Hill Reservoir. (Further upstream, there is a Clear Fork Reservoir in Richland County.)
Pleasant Hill Lake Park — Run by MWCD, Pleasant Hill Lake Park has essentially the same amenities as Charles Mill Lake Park. It also straddles Ashland and Richland counties.

Note: Contrary to at least one account published in our paper and elsewhere, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) does NOT cover 20 percent of the state. The Muskingum Watershed drains 20 percent of Ohio’s surface water. (The Mohican River watershed is part of it.) MWCD, which is classified as a political subdivision, covers 16,000 acres of water and 38,000 acres of land.

YOUR GUIDE TO MOHICAN COUNTRY GEOGRAPHIC REFERENCES – PDF

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2 thoughts on “You can’t get there from here if you don’t know what here and there are

  1. Pingback: A Drive Through the Woods – ODNR 51 – spurnpikersjournal

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