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Loudonville's Bicentennial is Highlight in Mohican Country this summer

By Jim Brewer | Loudonville Times/Ashland Times-Gazette Published: April 2, 2014 9:00 AM
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LOUDONVILLE—The Village of Loudonville will be celebrating its 200th birthday Wednesday through Saturday, August 6-10!

Located at the center of the recreational Mohican Country, Loudonville’s Bicentennial celebration will include parades, band concerts and five days of other festivities, adding an extra special highlight to the area’s busy tourism season.

On Wednesday, Aug. 6, the time capsule buried at the Loudonville Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1964, will be unearthed, and on Sunday, Aug. 10, the closing day of the Bicentennial festivities, a new capsule filled with artifacts from this year, will be buried, to be reopened at the 250-year celebration, in the summer of 2064. 

The complete schedule of Bicentennial events will be available for visitors during the summer. Geography, and stunning natural beauty are what continues to attract visitors to the Mohican Country. The area includes the spectacular Mohican State Park and Mohican Gorge, a national landmark.

The gorge features 300-foot high cliffs and steep hillsides split by the rushing, pristine Clear Fork branch of the Mohican River.

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Upstream from the gorge is Pleasant Hill Dam, built as one of the flood control projects in the 1930s by the Army Corps of Engineers, and today managed by the Corps and Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.

Downstream the Clear Fork and Black Fork conjoin, forming the Mohican River.

Those streams constitute the most popular canoeing waters in Ohio, and perhaps in the U.S.A., and serve as the home a dozen commercial canoe liveries. In addition, the rivers, beautiful hills and woodlands, and several lakes in the area serve as perfect places for campgrounds, so the area attracts campers from all over Ohio, and other states, for both its public and private camping area.

And these, in turn, serve as a step into more permanent lodging facilities, from the luxurious Landoll’s Mohican Castle, to the unique Mohican Tree Houses to the rustic and beautiful Mohican Lodge to a long lists of beds and breakfasts and other area vacation retreats

New to the area this year is the Aerial Adventure Park at the Mohican Adventures complex on Ohio 3 on the south side of Loudonville.

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“It’s kind of like a jungle gym way up in the air,” said Josh Gray, who conceptualized the attraction after hearing of the new form of entertainment from a variety of sources.

“Such attractions have become very popular in Europe, but are just catching on here,” added the Mohican Adventures general manager. 

Gray said the aerial attraction has four courses — an easy course, two intermediate courses and a course rated difficult.

“The easy course is just 12 feet off the ground, the intermediate is 24 (feet off the ground) and the difficult is 36,” Gray said. 

He expects the new facility, which has been installed above the grounds of Mohican Adventures Canoe Livery, to open around May 1, weather permitting.

The course will test a participant’s upper body strength, balance and coordination.

“The course contains a lot of obstacles for people climbing through it, including a cheese wall (a yellow wall that looks like a huge slices of Swiss cheese) that you climb on, swinging ropes, a swinging log, a hula hoop and an item called ‘the beaded Argyle’ that really tests a participant’s sense of balance,” Gray said. “Completing the course successfully gives participants a real sense of accomplishment.”

Challenge Design Innovations, a company from the Boone, N.C., area, that has been designing and building challenge courses since 1980, installed the course late last fall after the canoe season ended. 

In addition to landscaping, a fifth course for smaller children will be built just above ground level to complete the attraction.

Gray noted that courses like Aerial Adventure Park have evolved slowly because of safety concerns, “but are becoming more popular now because of the evolution of safety equipment.”

Gray said the motivation behind building the challenge course was to add an attraction that was not tied to the water. Primary attractions at Mohican Adventures are canoeing and camping.

The aerial park complements the Tree Frog Zip Line attraction, located about 10 miles south of Loudonville just off the Wally Road, which was opened two summers ago.

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