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Take a Relaxing Winter Drive along the Wally Road Scenic Byway

Tonya Prater, Owner

The Wally Road Scenic Byway follows the Mohican River as it winds its way through Ashland, Knox, and Holmes County in northcentral Ohio.

Part of Ohio’s Scenic Byways, this route starts off of State Route 3 just outside Loudonville near the Mohican State Park Campground and runs just over ten miles to State Route 514 and the tiny town of Greer, north of Danville where it runs right into the Amish Country Byway.

Chances are, if you’ve camped in the area, visited the Mohican Reservation for an Indian Pow Wow, or enjoyed a zipline tour with Tree Frog Canopy Tours, you’ve traveled along this scenic route and not even realized it.

A dirt road with a guardrail goes around a corner. Pine trees on a snow covered slope are on the right side with bare trees on the left.
Wally Road was paved in 2017.

The views found along this Ohio byway were once enjoyed by those traveling onboard the Toledo, Walhonding Valley, and Ohio Railroad and was said to be one of the most scenic train rides in the state. Today, the Mohican and Walhonding Valleys are part of the largest outdoor recreational complex in Ohio.

a small brown building stands in a snow covered field while the dirt road leads to a pair of farm silos and barn.

With campgrounds, canoe liveries, and a state park you’ll find a road trip along this county road to be well worth your time, and as a bonus, it’s full of history. I think the byway is especially gorgeous during the month of October once the leaves have changed color and it’s also pretty with a dusting of white snow but a nice early morning drive or drive at dusk is a great time too and you’re likely to see several animals along the way.

horses along the side of a dirt road in the snow

Set your cruise control to 45 mph and enjoy a leisurely drive past busy campgrounds and quiet farmlands to enjoy the natural beauty of the area including abundant wildlife. I’ve spotted both mature and juvenile bald eagles along the river, deer standing in a field, and even a fox crossing the road at dusk when driving to and from the Mohicans treehouses, one of my favorite places to stay for a unique getaway.

Places of Interest along Wally Road Scenic Byway

Before setting off on your road trip adventure, take a peek at the Ohio Department of Transportation website. ODOT is a huge resource and even hosts a virtual tour. I highly suggest that you take time to glance through it or you may miss the historic significance of what you will see along the drive.

The virtual tour extends a bit beyond Wally Road to give you an idea of other things to see in the area. This includes the village of Loudonville and Mohican State Park, one of my favorite places to enjoy the outdoors. I highly recommend that you allow enough time to visit both.

You can easily drive through parts of the park and see the covered bridge that is a focal point of the park as well as the Gorge Overlook. You can do both, and enjoy the view in about 30 minutes. If you enjoy hiking and have the time, I’d suggest you take a hike to the Big Lyons Falls as well which would add on an additional hour or so. You’ll find additional things to do in the park in my article on free things to do in the Mohican area

Downtown Loudonville offers unique boutique shops, a visitor center, the Black Fork Cafe (my personal favorite place to eat when I’m in the area), a couple of murals, and Stela’s Ice Cream Shoppe & Coffee House which is a great place to grab a treat after your drive.

While the tour from ODOT starts you in Greer and ends on Route 3, I’m going to do the opposite.

Before turning off Route 3 and onto Wally Road, stop at the Mohican Country Market to grab sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. If you missed breakfast, you may want to grab one of their glazed donuts that are as big as your head!

Once on the byway, you’ll pass the canoe livery and quite a few campgrounds before coming to Spellacy Bridge #30. This iron bridge rests on sandstone piers is about the only remnant of the railroad that you’ll see along the route.

The next notable stop will be at the historic marker recognizing the end of the Northwest Indian War. Next door, you’ll find the Mohican Reservation Campground that is home to the annual Mohican Indian Pow Wow. This is also the location of the first homesteaders on the reservation.

The Pow Wow is a great way to learn about Native American life and culture. When you attend, please remember to be respectful. You may choose to go for entertainment purposes but the Native Americans are there for ceremonial reasons. Be prepared with sunscreen, hats, and water, as you won’t find a lot of shade, and bleachers for the ceremonial dances are located directly in the sun.

A white one-room schoolhouse is located on a treed lot on a dirt road.

If you’re road tripping in late June or July, you may wish to make a slight detour to 23038 Gessling Road to visit the Blueberry Hill Family Farm. This family-owned and operated farm offers 15 acres of you-pick blueberries. 

Mohican Wilderness, a 600-acre campground, soon follows on the left-hand side. The campground features the Kenhurst Village with a replica of an old train station, several log cabins, and an 1880 schoolhouse. On the weekends, you may see a weaver, blacksmith, and carpenter re-enacting 19th-century trades. If you’re looking for a scenic spot for a wedding, the gazebo is a great spot for the ceremony and the rustic barn serves as an ideal on-site reception venue.

a peek inside the one room schoolhouse reveals rows of wooden desks, candle sconces on the walls and an American flag in the corner.

Other notable sites along the byway include a historic log cabin that has been carefully preserved, Walnut Grove School #10, Tree Frog Canopy, two historic barns from the 1880s and 1890s, and a 1913 Sears, Roebuck, and Company kit home. These kit homes were primarily sold between 1908 and 1940.

signs flank to trees acknowledging the entrance to a trail that leads to an old cemetery.

The parking lot of the Walnut Grove School is a great spot to stop for a picnic lunch, in or out of your car. Take a hike up the hill directly across the street to visit a historic cemetery or peek across Wally Road Scenic Byway at the Bridge to Yesteryear that is spans a ditch in what is the Mohican Wildnerness campground. The parking lot is shared with Tree Frog Canopy which is Ohio’s only dual-cable zipline and reaches speeds over 50 miles an hour!

You’ll find the final highlight along the route in Greer. The unique brick building was built circa 1920 and is the former post office/dance hall. From here, you can continue on the Amish Country Byway or turn around and retrace your route to get another perspective of the things you saw. If you like seeking out covered bridges, you’ll find the Bridge of Dreams a short 10-15 minute drive away.

Remember to keep your eyes open for those eagles I told you about! You may think about packing a pair of binoculars for your trip. 

If you’re looking for a unique place to stay, you’re only minutes away from The Mohicans treehouse resort. You won’t want to miss a stay in one of their luxurious treehouses. Read my treehouses in Ohio post to see which ones I recommend (though you really can’t go wrong with any of them).

If treehouses aren’t your thing, you can find additional lodging options using the map below.

You’ll also find Landoll’s Mohican Castle a great option for overnight. In addition to castle rooms, they offer stable rooms and cottages and an on-site restaurant.

Mohican State Park Lodge is a short drive away and a great option for families.

Have you driven along the Wally Road Byway? If you have, I hope that you learned a couple of things you didn’t know before, and if you haven’t, I hope that I’ve piqued your curiosity and that you’ll consider exploring this part of Ohio. Protection Status
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