Mount Pleasant aka Standing Stone
“The best view comes after the hardest climb” ― Anonymous
Mount Pleasant is a landmark in Lancaster. It is in Rising Park and overlooks the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. It is a favorite place for hikers as well as photographers and nature lovers.
Mount Pleasant is not truly a mountain. It is a 250-foot high sandstone bluff. The Wyandot Indians that originally occupied the area named it "Standing Stone."
The mountain has a short dirt and gravel path that leads to the top. It measures approximately 1200 feet. The trailhead is located near the parking lot by the tennis courts.
The trail is steep and can get your heart rate up. For those who need it, there are several carved stone benches along the side of the wide path.
Once you get to the top, there is a clearing. The views are breathtaking and make the climb worthwhile. From the top, you can see historic downtown Lancaster and the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. On clear days, you can even see downtown Columbus.
A short trail continues around the top of the bluff. It meets back up to the original trail.
Heading down the trail there is another short trail that veers off to the right. In this area, there were a lot of birds (pictured: Yellow Throated Vireo, Northern "Yellow-shafted" Flicker & American Robin) and several white-tailed deer. The trail abruptly ends. To get down the mountain you must walk back to the original trail.
There is a rail near the cliff edge, but it does not stop those who want to get farther out. Every time we go, people are sitting on the rock outcroppings. This may seem like fun and maybe romantic to some. However, Mount Pleasant is a dangerous place. There have been countless incidents of people falling off the mountain and needing rescued.
Another dangerous place on the Mountain is known as “Devil’s Kitchen.” It is a cave that can only be reached by getting off the main path. To reach the cave, climbers must scale the blackhand sandstone without falling. As you can imagine, many people have been hurt trying to get a glimpse of “Devil’s kitchen.”
Rising park is one of the nicest and well-kept parks in Lancaster. And for these reasons, it is also one of the busiest. The park is large and has something for everyone. There are large fields for frisbee and other sports. Two large ponds for children to fish. Tennis courts and horseshoe pits. And a large playground that is mostly shaded.
The park is also a favorite park for weddings and family gatherings. Two shelter houses are available to rent, and many picnic tables are set up throughout the park.
Fairfield County Fairgrounds
The Fairfield County Fairgrounds is located near the foot of Mt. Pleasant. The fairground was founded in 1850. It consists of 65 acres. The Fairfield County Fair is the oldest fair of non-stop operation in Ohio. It is also the last fair of the year.
The first fair was held in October 1851. This year, the fair was canceled due to the Coronavirus. However, it still hosted the Junior Fair that was closed to the public.
Several movies have been filmed in Lancaster, Ohio. Two of the most notable were filmed in the Lancaster Fairgrounds:
Mount Pleasant gives you one of the most beautiful views of the city. It is relaxing and provides a little workout. Rising Park is always packed with people. If you are wanting a quiet visit, it will not happen in the park. But once you reach the top of Mount Pleasant, it makes the trip worthwhile. Most people that visit the park are enjoying all the amenities at the base of the mountain. If you choose to climb the mountain, you will see some people, but there is not a crowd to deal with.
We would not recommend making Mount Pleasant/Rising Park a destination, unless you are already in the area. On the other hand, it is a great place to visit if you are into nature and outdoor photography.
What You Can Expect at Mount Pleasant
Please note that park rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Mount Pleasant as of October 2020.
There are bathrooms located near the playground.
Great place for birding.
There are no bridges.
Nowhere in the Rules and Regulations does it state if concealed carry is permitted or not permitted.
Pets are permitted on a leash. Leash cannot exceed 6' in length.
Mount Pleasant is steep. There are several stone benches on the trail.
There are several parking lots located throughout Rising Park. The closest parking lot to Mount Pleasant is next to the Tennis Courts.
Picnic tables located throughout Rising Park. There are no tables on the mountain.
Large playground in Rising Park.
Several stone benches located along the path.
There is a lot of shade.
Shelter houses are located in Rising Park. They can be rented for wedding and parties.
The trail isn't marked. However the first part of the trail is wide and very noticeable. Once you round the top of the summit the trail narrows and can be difficult to see when the leaved fall.
The trail is natural. Close to the top of the mountain it can be difficult to navigate over the stones.
Trash cans are located throughout the park.
2 ponds located at the base of the mountain.
There are several ADA parking spaces available.
Fishing is permitted for those 13 years of age and under. The ponds are catch and release only.