Living in a bigger city like Columbus, we’re always looking for quiet getaways – places that are an easy (and hopefully scenic drive) that put us deep in Ohio’s rolling hills and dense, wooded forests.
Only about 90 minutes from our home – about halfway between Columbus and Cleveland – lies Mohican-Memorial State Forest and Mohican State Park. And deep in the woods we found The Mohicans, a rustic-but-grand wedding venue surrounded by a collection of treehouses. The owners of The Mohicans kindly invited us to stay overnight in one of the treehouses as a family.
So how is it? Imagine all the fun of staying in a cozy cabin in the woods, but instead it’s one story up in the trees! It’s like all your childhood dreams of hanging out in a treehouse, but with modern amenities.
We stayed in El Castillo, one of The Mohicans’ newest treehouses. After parking, we reached the two-story treehouse by climbing the stairs and crossing a small wooden bridge. The treehouse sleeps four: two in a queen bed on the second floor and two on the Murphy bed that folds down into the living room. There’s a small kitchen, complete with a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, two-part induction burner and sink. There’s comfortable seating, a TV with a DVD player, a full bathroom (plus a bonus outdoor shower, if you’re feeling brave during the colder months), and both levels have small decks looking into the woods.
While it takes a little getting used to the close confines, plus the gentle (and very slight) sway of the treehouse in the wind, we found El Castillo to have delightfully bad cell reception, which helped us unplug for a while and focus on playing games, reading and hanging out together.
For dinner, we were treated to a special tasting from Chef Drew Slane in the kitchen of The Grand Barn. The Barn is a popular destination for weddings, with its wooded surroundings. Many wedding parties will rent out all the treehouses the weekend of the wedding, so everyone really gets to enjoy the forest during their stay.
Chef Drew cooked up a few courses of his specialties, like sweet and spicy wings, pasta, pork chops with roasted cauliflower and a balsamic glaze, and roast beef with potatoes and green beans. It was fun to chat with him and watch the expert at work; we marveled at his speed and the ease with which he dished out multiple courses one after the other.
Knowing that our treehouse had a small firepit out front, we planned ahead and brought firewood, graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows from home. While the beautiful big snowflakes came drifting down, we got a roaring fire going, then huddled around and made s’mores.
We also slept easily in the warm cabin. Despite the blustery snow outside, the heaters keep things very comfortable inside. The next morning we awoke to clear blue skies, and took our time making breakfast of avocado toast and cold brew coffee (which we brought from home – I’m a coffee nerd), then spent the morning reading and playing some games. Then it was back to home!
Final tip: we love making a road trip out of any getaway, so on the way to The Mohicans, we stopped at Early Birds Breakfast in St. Louisville, a fun and welcoming roadside diner. On the trek back we enjoyed driving portions of the Ohio Byway down Route 514, making stops to pick up eggs and meat from Copia Farm in Johnstown, and then a second breakfast at Fox in the Snow Cafe in New Albany.
*stay at The Mohicans and dinner was complimentary.