The Mohican Valley Trail is a 4.5 mile span between the Kokosing Gap and the Holmes County Trail in Knox County, Ohio. The three trails follow the same former rail corridor and comprise a significant part of the larger Ohio-to-Erie Trail, a cross-state bikeway. The Mohican Valley's western endpoint is in Danville, while the eastern end lies just east of the Mohican River in Brinkhaven.
Where the trail crosses the Mohican River you pass over the 370' long Bridge of Dreams that has been constructed atop an old railroad bridge. This covered bridge is reported to be the longest in Ohio and the 2nd longest in the nation!
The Mohican Valley Trail is horse friendly and as a result offered an unusual configuration. Originally it was constructed as two trails placed side-by-side -- one earthen path for horses & buggies alongside a gravel trail for bikers and hikers. Since that time, Mother Nature has been busy blending the two surfaces together.
Rain, snow and ice have had a positive impact in changing the trail into one uniform, smoother surface. Dirt has washed over the gravel sections, filling in the gaps between larger gravel, smoothing out the bike side of the trail. While the soft dirt has compacted considerably, firming up the opposite side for horse and buggy use. The result is a much improved ride for everyone!
On our last visit to the trail in 2011, we found that vegetation growth had narrowed the trail considerably. The former wide swath that accommodated two trails was narrowed to a mere 9-10' making it essentially a single trail. Signs still encouraged buggies to stay to one side and bikes to the other, but these users are now obviously sharing one pathway.
The grade of the trail surface varies. Most of the trail has you either climbing or descending gradual, gentle pitches. The trail does briefly drop down to one road crossing where the inclines on either side are considerably steeper.
As the trail approaches the Mohican River it begins to ride the crest of a ridge with significant drop-offs on either side. Previously you had to be careful here as the gravel sometimes sloped downward along one edge of the trail. But that threat was no longer apparent as the path is now better established and solid. Ruts from buggy wheels are less of an issue during dry weather. But puddles and soft spots are likely after rainy spells as the earthen surface absorbs rather than sheds moisture.
Asphalt sprinkled with small gravel and stone dust has been put down east of the Bridge of Dreams to the trails endpoint, roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of mile east toward the Holmes County line. This roughly 9-10' wide section appears to be a demo of how the trail will look once entirely finished.
Trail rules here are a bit different and users should take time to read the posted guidelines as many cyclists may not be familiar with sharing a trail with horses. Trail rules can also be found on the Knox County web site.
The trail is very rural. You will find few amenities along the way. The trailhead at the Mohican River near Brinkhaven has a latrine, picnic shelter and parking. There is no water available here.
Connections to the Kokosing & Holmes County Trails are easy to make. The east end of the Mohican Valley Trail connects directly to the Holmes County Trail (see map) via a new tunnel under Rt. 62 at the Holmes County line. As you pass under the roadway, the trail transitions to an unfinished section of the Holmes County Trail, which is closed at this time.
The west end of the trail is in Danville, a few yards from the intersection of East & North Streets. From here you're only a few blocks from Main Street (Rt. 62). Ride straight for about 3 blocks and turn right on Washington Street. Travel another 2 blocks or so to Main Street, Rt. 62. From here you'll see Bike Route signs that direct you to the Kokosing Gap Trail. You may also notice Mohican Valley Trail signs directing you back to the Mohican Trail.
Our recent visit had me pondering whether a skinny-tired road bike could now ride the trail. The firm earthen surface, much like a well-worn dirt footpath, should provide a firm enough base for the job. But during and after wet weather the trail is likely to soften too much. However, the short asphalt section east of the Bridge of Dreams can be ridden on any bike. Though the thin layer of loose gravel does make it sketchy for road bikes.
(I should point out that we only visited each end of the trail and are assuming that the rest of the surface is in similar condition.)
The Bridge of Dreams is a must-see. And adventerous roadies can now try riding the trail in dry conditions. But a wider tire platform is still the best fit for this trail until more sections are paved.
Length: 4.4 mile earthen surface (1/2-3/4 mi paved with gravel topcoat) - width 9-10'
Condition: Good to Very Good
Facilities: Latrine at the Bridge of Dreams by the Mohican River in Brinhaven. There you'll also find picnic tables under a shelter. No Water stops along the trail. Water & restrooms at the nearby the football field about 2 blocks away from the Danville trailhead.
Food: Dairy stand on Main Street (Rt. 62 in Danville). A drive-thru across the street and a grocery store nearby.
Parking: Parking available in Danville on East Street. Also parking along the trail near the Bridge of Dreams on Hunter Rd off of Rt. 62 near Brinkhaven. When crossing the Mohican River on Rt. 62 look south to see the covered trail bridge.
5.1mi 4.8mi .6mi 0mi