Mohican River Report

Is the Mohican River technically closed?

The Governor of the State of Ohio is the only one who can “technically close” the river. But what does it mean when the businesses who utilize the Mohican River as part of our livelihood – say the river is CLOSED?

Mohican Adventures in one of the premier livery operations in the United States let alone being the top livery operation in the State of Ohio.  They have the experience to back this statement up.

During the “canoeing season” April 1 through October 31 Mohican Adventures runs a River Report on their website.  They have a gage that shows green, green/yellow, yellow and red.  Each color has a meaning as to what type of rentals they are allowing on the river that day. They are NOT trying to ruin your fun by limiting what type of rentals, they are concerned about your safety.  Mohican Adventures has the experience and the knowledge of this watershed.


We – Smith’s Pleasant Valley Family Campground – bought our campground August 26, 1992.  George, Amy & Kim Smith had camped on the Mohican River at various campgrounds in the area for the previous 10 years. We like so many of you LOVE the Mohican River and camped multiple times a month/year.

Our personal experience is 37+ years on the Mohican River.  Scott our son in law was born and raised in Loudonville.  Scott worked for Mohican Canoe Livery & Pleasant Hill Lake Park starting at age 14. He has worked for at least 30+ years on this river, including being a Watercraft and ODNR Parks Officer for the State of Ohio for 5 years.

Over the years we have had flooding at the campground, minor and major.  On July 11, 2006 we had a catastrophic flash flood.  The campground was closed for over a month. Other campgrounds in the area were able to open back up, but we lost everything. Not just the campground and all our business in the month of July/August but everything in our home.  What did we do? We pulled up our bootstraps and with the help of friends (camper and personal) and family we were able to get the campground back in order and we opened back up for Labor Day Weekend.  We had to replace all the “guts” of every electric pedestal and lots of picnic tables and fire rings.

With every significant rain fall or calls of flash floods or warnings we are on top of what is going on in the area.  All the businesses who deal with the river work together.  We may all be competitors, but we all work together for the greater good of the Mohican Area.  We know that we are “Ohio’s Largest Outdoor Recreation” and we have great pride in what our area has to offer. That is our history on the Mohican River.

Now let’s look at Mohican Adventures history on the Mohican River.  The patriarch of this operation, Doug Shannon has been either working or owning this operation for 50+ years.  His wife Patty and him have owned and operated the livery for 45+ years.  Their depth of knowledge and expertise of this watershed is the highest of anyone in the area.  Doug started his career on the Mohican River the year of the July 4, 1969 flood.

Their son in law Josh Gray, who is their General Manager, has 30+ years’ experience.  Their other son in law Matt Carr has 15+ years working with the canoe livery.  These men are also “local” boy’s like our son in law who played in this river long before they started working this river.  Their history and experience run deep in this watershed.

Now a little bit of information about the Muskingum Watershed Basin. You must understand it is not just this little section of river that you ride your canoe, kayak, tube or raft on. This watershed is the largest in the State of Ohio that drains 8000 square miles in 27 counties.  The lakes and dams were all built for extensive flood control in the state of Ohio.  Our watershed drains 20% of the state of Ohio. There are 14 reservoirs in this system. 10 are recognized for the outdoor recreational opportunities, with over 5 million people visitors annually utilizing this system. We need to remember flood control is the number one responsibility of these rivers, lakes and dams.

We are very fortunate on our little stretch of river that we have the experience and knowledge of Mohican Adventures to make the safety calls for their operation.  The other canoe liveries in the area also recognize their expertise.  Who does not seem to recognize their expertise? Some of the private canoer’s, kayaker’s and tubers who still decide to go down the river anyway.

In the past 2 weeks there have been 2 drownings on the Kokosing River, outside of Mount Vernon. One was a private tuber and the other was a young man swimming in the rain swollen river.  Our prayers go out to both of those families. One thing that we have on the Mohican River that the Kokosing River does not is a network of businesses who work together trying to inform our visitors of the conditions of the river.

Yes, we know it looks like it would be so much fun kayaking down the Mohican River when it is high remember this. Yesterday, (Sunday) as we were watching the river rise (we didn’t crest here until 8 p.m.) we watched 20’ trees breaking lose and floating down the river.  We watched debris getting caught up in the trees that are tangled up alongside the bank’s getting bigger and bigger.  We worried as we watched people in kayaks with no life jackets on float by.  In the last week we watched people with no life jackets on with children in their kayaks. At least the children had life jackets on.  What is going to happen to your kids when you flip, and you cannot save yourself.  Or the tubers going by with no life jackets.

Remember that your fun is also putting our first responders, who many are volunteers, in danger also.

8 years ago, during high water Memorial weekend, my son in law had to rescue 12 tubers who decided to tube down the river. Not knowing that the river was blocked right before our Landing at the campground.  Our campers were screaming at them to get over to the side of the bank.  The profanity that those individuals were shooting back said that they knew best.  If it had not been for Scott jumping into the river getting onto the trees that were blocking the river and plucking them out one at a time onto the trees, there would have been 12 people who would have died that day because they knew better than everyone else.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE we ask everyone to abide by the Mohican River Report. We do not want you or your family be the one going through what those families are going through from the Kokosing River.

Just ask us or go to