By Eric D. Goodman
We weren’t sure quite what to expect when we were invited to stay a weekend at a treehouse resort. Sure, I’d spent some time in treehouses as a child, but we knew that the treehouses of today can be quite a different thing. One has only to watch a few episodes of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters to know that.
The six-hour drive from Maryland to central Ohio’s Amish country was a scenic one as we went from an urban landscape to country roads. National Geographic named the area around the treehouse resort one of the most beautiful places in the world for foliage. It lived up to that reputation during our autumn drive.
As we honed in on the general area, we began seeing fewer cars—and we even passed a few Amish horse-and-buggies. The last half hour or so of our drive was spent navigating over gravel and dirt roads through the wooded landscape. Finally, we arrived at our destination: The Mohicans.
Making a Village
Nestled in the heart of Ohio’s Mohican Valley, this treehouse village is both a resort and a wedding venue. The village is located on a 77-acre private wooded area. Less Ewok Village and more glamping suites, the nine unique treehouses and additional cabins are works of architectural art that perfectly blend into the landscape, as though they had grown here.
But these houses didn’t just grow on trees. It took a special kind of skill to conceive of and construct these little homes. Each treehouse is unique, with different designs, looks and themes. One is even built out of a vintage Airstream camper.
The owners and operators of The Mohicans believe in sustainable building and operations, and they make efforts to ensure the accommodations blend in naturally with the environment. That said, we’re not talking camouflage. Gabled roofs, lit-up windows, and sprawling decks make the designs really stand out.
A Treetop Neighborhood
One treehouse, The Silver Bullet, is built with an actual full-size Airstream camper. The vintage Airstream rests 25 feet up in a tree and is surrounded by a rustic deck. More “glamper” than “camper,” this RV in the sky puts the “air” in Airstream, the owners like to say.
The Little Red Treehouse colors the otherwise green and brown landscape with bright red—a large cathedral window in front. It was designed and constructed, using an Amish crew, for an episode of Treehouse Masters. Originally a brewery tasting center, it was redesigned as another guest house in the trees. The home is currently under renovation again as improvements continue.
Their first treehouse remains one of their largest: The White Oak. It, too, was built for an episode of Treehouse Masters and features two levels, two bedrooms with queen-sized beds, a full bath inside and a second private shower outside on the porch. The porch wraps around three sides of the treehouse, which also includes a full kitchen, and a living room with a sectional sofa.
Another treehouse, Old Pine, features two bedrooms and is accessible by climbing a distant staircase and long suspension bridge. The design and décor evoke an 1800s vibe, and hundred-year-old barn wood was used in its construction.
The Nest is a honeymoon suite overlooking the on-site wedding venue. Designed by Roderick Romero, it’s a single octagonal tower with cathedral windows, a wrap-around deck and a massive Californian mahogany arched front door. The Nest is accessible by crossing a wooden bridge from across the trail.
More than Treehouses
The Mohicans Treehouse Resort is also an upscale wedding venue set in the woods. Amid the treehouses and cabins, there is a large barn-like building for hosting weddings and corporate events.
Don’t let the rustic barn exterior fool you; the interior of this two-story timber-framed structure is elegant. A solid oak staircase leads to an upper-level mezzanine that leads to an outside deck.
The place settings are as formal as one would find at a more traditional wedding venue, with white tablecloths, China, crystal and silver.
Our Castle in the Trees
During our visit, we stayed in El Castillo. The rustic, reclaimed wood—and craftsmanship of Amish carpenters—helps the treehouse blend into the collection of trees upon which it perches. The tall, octagonal tower features large picture windows on both levels. Inside: rustic luxury. The bottom floor features a comfortable living room, dining area, kitchenette and full bath with a stone shower. A second private shower is outside on the wraparound porch. A custom spiral staircase leads to a second floor, where we found our large master bedroom with a king-sized bed, an upper balcony deck, more picture windows and a uniquely spiked ceiling.
When we told our friend from Columbus that we were visiting for a romantic treehouse getaway, she knew she had to swing by. We were enjoying a long weekend here, and we invited her to join us for an evening.
The Murphy-style, queen-sized hideaway bed on the main floor folded out from the wall and made accommodating guests easy and comfortable.
Perhaps it doesn’t go without saying, since these are treehouses in the woods, so I’ll say it: the treehouses and cabins at The Mohicans have running water, hot water, indoor bathrooms, kitchenettes and electricity. Ours even had a television and DVD player, although we had little need for it. We were here to experience the treehouses and surroundings.
Comfortably inside, it can be easy to forget that the real draw to the area is the outdoors. We went outside the main feature—the treehouse—to enjoy a campfire in the firepit below El Castillo. Others in distant treehouses and cabins had lit fires and distant music playing.
We enjoyed campfire discussions, hikes in the woods and an exploration of the treehouses all around us—when we weren’t enjoying the treehouse that was our home for the weekend.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind Before Booking a Trip to Remember
A weekend at The Mohicans left us feeling refreshed and reconnected with nature. Be aware that this is, indeed, a remote stay in nature, not in a city. There are no restaurants or cafes on site—unless you’re here for a wedding or event. Although the accommodations are luxurious, you’ll want to bring your own provisions: meals, coffee, drinks, snacks. The resort provides toiletries and linens, towels and electricity and water. You bring the meat and potatoes, vegetables and fruits, beer and wine. Prepare as you would for a camping trip. Or, plan as you may have planned for a night spent in the neighbor’s treehouse of your childhood.
Learn more or book your reservations by visiting their website at themohicans.net. 9
Eric D. Goodman is the author of six books. His novel, “Setting the Family Free,” takes place in central Ohio, not far from The Mohicans. Following the release of exotic animals into a rural community, it may make for the perfect read during a stay at The Mohicans. Learn more about Eric and his writing at EricDGoodman.com.