Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mohican's Lyons Falls

Mohican State Park could well be called the center of the universe- for a tree hugger in mid-Ohio. Within a 90 minute drive for over 7 million- yes, that is million- Ohioans, it is a verdant forest, boasting of an unglaciated gorge bisected by the Clear Fork River. Equal parts Canadian forest and high-and-dry oaks of a southern forest. The best of both worlds, hosting a multitude of breeding birds, including warblers, Bald Eagles and Osprey. Unusual plant communities include many species of ferns and several varieties of orchids.

Big Lyons Fall is accessed from the picturesque Covered Bridge trail.

It was a special treat to revisit this local landmark with a visiting friend from Belgium. We Americans tend to forget how truly extraordinary our State and National Parks are. For the first time in history land was set aside - for the pleasure of the common man- not kings or queens. It is our legacy and gift to preserve for future generations, and it is up to us to leave it unspoiled for those who follow.

Colm was appreciative of Little Lyons Falls as well. A steady stream of hikers passed through this area while we photographed the jagged rock and waterfall. One has to wonder if they know our Ohio state parks and forests are in danger of becoming industrial sites? How many fracking wells or timber sites will it take to mar the beauty and quietude of our pristine gorge?

It seems a poorly thought out plan to tout industry within a park to achieve finances for long deferred maintenance. Once the roads are over-burdened with semis hauling fracking fluid and timber, where will one go for the peace and sanctuary we have come to cherish? After all, who will want to visit our state parks? Will there be a need for improved lodging and facilities for anyone but the few gas workers and truck drivers?

Our natural areas are best kept natural. That gas has been in the ground for a long time now, and will keep for a few more years until we learn how to extract it safely without contaminating water and creating huge gas drilling "footprints" through out the park. If the state parks belong to the tax payers of Ohio, maybe some one should ask us how we feel about this plan.


  1. I grew up in the Mansfield area and Mohican, particularly the two Lyons Falls, was one of my FAVORITE places. I loved looking at all the old names carved into the rock wall at Big Lyons Falls. Thanks for bringing back some great memories with these photos!

  2. Cheryl: I have loved so many of your wonderful blog posts. But this one touched my heart with its beautiful, compelling, poignant, message. Thank you for sharing your insight into the value of natural spaces, and the critical importance of keeping them in tact.

  3. Thanks Rebecca and Kim-

    I don't mean to get up on a soapbox- but we Ohioans have to start speaking out for our natural areas before they are usurped by industy.

    These places are were set aside for the people of Ohio, and are more important everyday as suburban sprawl continues to eat up of natural spaces. Thank you for your suportive comments.

  4. Greed blinds the greedy. Thank you for putting in a word for leaving things alone. This is a wonderful post.

  5. Thank-you. I don't "dig"any "fracking" wells on public land. (Semi-pun intended).