I prefer long paddling trips — overnighters and multiple-day excursions. Occasionally I’ll settle for a short leisurely paddle. There’s something to be said about getting out — morning, afternoon, evening or even in the dark — and paddling on a lake or a lazy stream.

The Mohican area lends itself well to short paddle trips. Besides being close to home, Pleasant Hill Lake is at the top of my list.

Pleasant Hill offers the best of all worlds — and the worst. It’s Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District’s only unlimited horsepower lake, at least the eastern half. During peak hours in the summer, that part of the lake holds little appeal for canoeists, kayakers and standup paddleboard enthusiasts.

Unless you’re really thirsty and feel the need to paddle over to the Mohican State Park Lodge for a beer.

The western end of the lake is shallow and designated a no-wake zone, making it paddler-friendly. The quiet coves hide all kinds of surprises, including osprey, bald eagles, green heron, beaver and irate duck hunters (when you stray into their flocks of bobbing decoys). In addition to that, Clear Fork of the Mohican River flows into the west end of the lake.

To say it flows might be a bit of a stretch. At normal pool levels — absent monsoon rains upstream — there is very little current on between the Newville Bridge (Pleasant Hill Road) and the lake. Paddlers can often make it all the way upstream close to the bridge. It’s nearly a mile one-way, so this makes for nice little river paddling experience.

It’s common for paddlers to access the lake at the northern terminus of Barron Road and paddle upstream and back. Barron Road also serves as an alternative to putting in at the public boat launch off Covert Road. Pleasant Hill Lake Park also offers access at a designated canoe and kayak area between the beach and horse camp.

In summer months, the latter involves a gate fee to enter the park.

Got a favorite short paddle in the Mohican or surrounding areas? I’d like to hear about it. Contact me at irvoslin@gmail.com.

— Irv Oslin, a retired Times-Gazette reporter, is a canoe and outdoors enthusiast.