Sunday, March 5, 2017

Along the Way: Mohican Falls

Mohican Falls
I want to start with stating that the trails winding through Ganoga Glen and Glen Leigh are steep in spots and can become slippery. Please be careful while visiting and hiking the area of the falls and please wear proper footwear.

“What is the next waterfall? Zech asked as we headed downstream.

“I paused for a moment to pull the folded map from my pocket. “Mohican Falls.”

"Wasn't there a book written about the Mohicans?" Zech asked suddenly.

"The Last of the Mohicans?" I asked knowing that the famous novel by James Fenimore Cooper was more than likely the book he was talking about. After all, it is the book that most people would identify the name Mohican with..

"Yes, that's the one," he replied eagerly. "I saw it on your bookcase."

"You ever read it?"

He gave me a strange look that said 'Are you kidding me?' before he answered: "No."

Unnamed waterfall entering into the Ganoga Branch
Of Kitchen Creek near Mohican Falls
Photograph courtesy of Susan
Not that I really blame him. I had to read it years ago and I found the classic adventure book dry, boring, and in parts confusing. But before the two of us could debate the book, Zech and I caught up with Susan and Kevin near the base of Mohican Falls.

However, they weren't taking pictures of the named falls. Instead they were focused upon another waterfall, one on a small stream that was entering the Ganoga Branch of Kitchen Creek. Looking at the map, I couldn't find a name from the waterfall or the stream that it was located on.

"The couple sitting on the rock at Delaware Falls told us about this one," Kevin offered as Zech and I caught up with them.

“They were telling us that this one is often missed by hikers,” Susan added as Kevin stepped cautiously onto the wet rocks to get a better view of the waterfall. The couple had also told Zech and I about this one stating that it was one of their favorites in the park and they had a point - this waterfall is as beautiful, if not prettier than, the waterfalls on Kitchen Creek.

Mohican Falls
Photograph courtesy of Sisan
After getting pictures of the unnamed falls, we turned our attention to the named falls on Kitchen Creek. Mohican Falls is a slide waterfall that drops thirty-nine feet in two separate slides. It is difficult to photograph because the upper slide moves one direction before the second slide brings it back the opposite way. Most photography sites online suggest that to get the full beauty of these falls is to photograph the lower and upper slides separately.

We were about to give in and photograph them separately when we found the perfect spot to capture the complete falls.

The falls are named in honor of the Mohicans, a member of the Algonquin tribe who traditionally lived in the Hudson River Valley in the area around present-day Albany, New York. The Mohicans consisted of five different groups who formed a Confederacy.

When Henry Hudson arrived in the new world, it was the Mohicans he first encountered while exploring along the river named in his honor. The Mohicans would become involved in a war against the Mohawk Nation, being forced eastward into western Massachusetts and Connecticut, with the majority of them settling in the area of Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

With the start of the Revolutionary War, most of the Mohicans joined forces with the colonists and saw action in many of the battles in the New England region. The fact that they helped the colonists was quickly forgotten after the end of the Revolutionary War. They were soon removed to the western part of the state where they were forced on a reservation with the Oneida. By the 1830s they had been removed to Wisconsin where they joined with the Munsee Indians on a reservation in Shawano County.

After taking our pictures of the waterfalls, we knew it was time to continue our journey to the next of the named waterfalls.

Mohican Falls
Photograph courtesy of Kevin
Again, please be careful while visiting and hiking the area of the falls

A note of thanks: A big thank you goes out to Susan and Kevin for joining me on this adventure and also for allowing the usage of their pictures in this article.

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