If I had to name the most exciting trip of late for my kids (and, vicariously, their friends, family and teachers), it would be the Mohicans treehouse resort in Ohio's Amish country. These teen girls have traveled to England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and beyond, but their excitement about the "treehouse hotel" was off the charts before we left home.
It turns out their mania is part of a growing enthusiasm for treehouse resorts around the country. The Mohicans, located 90 minutes from Cleveland, is especially popular with families and groups for weddings and reunions.
Arriving at the resort's 77 forested acres in darkness made it seem all the more magical as we followed a path in the pines to spot our "hotel room" glowing above us. The lighted windows outlined the peaked castle roof of El Castillo, one of the newer and larger of the nine treehouses around the resort.
Up the stairs to a walkway 20 feet above ground, we entered to find a charming cherry and black walnut octagonal interior with kitchenette, leather sofa, handcrafted table, full bathroom and pull-down queen bed behind a reclaimed barn door.
A spiral staircase led to the master bedroom on the second level, boasting a well-dressed king bed under a majestic chandelier. "Can we move in?" one of the girls asked.
The master bedroom at El Castillo, one of the resort’s newer treehouses.
On our daylight tour, resort owners and treehouse enthusiasts Kevin and Laura Mooney told us they caught the bug from the Discovery Channel's "Treehouse Masters" show with Pete Nelson. The resort's first and second treehouses, White Oak and Little Red, were built by Nelson, and Little Red was featured on the show and in a book.
After drawing media attention and famous guests including Matthew McConaughey and family, the Mooneys decided to add more treehouses. All are built by local Amish craftsmen and suspended on supports attached to the trunks of three or more trees. All have kitchenettes and most have full bathrooms, and they sleep from two to six guests.
The Grand Barn, the 6,200-square-foot main lodge, hosts wedding receptions and parties of up to 220 people. The resort's overnight capacity is 82, with 36 in the treehouses and 46 in the lodge and four traditional cabins named after local rivers: the Mohican, the Walhonding, the Kokosing and the Killbuck.
These rivers and other natural attractions in the area are great for fishing, hiking, canoeing in nearby Loudonville and ziplining with Tree Frog Canopy Tours.
Rates start at $220 per night. See www.themohicans.net.