Pathfinder Routes is a local project started by LCATS with an initiative to create scenic routes throughout Licking County. Explore the items below to find out more about this project and the routes.
The Licking County Area Transportation Study (LCATS) is a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). LCATS is bound by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) to fulfill many transportation mandates. One of these requirements involves enhancing tourism within LCATS MPO Study Area. The Pathfinder Routes are scenic road tours or byways that highlight Licking County’s villages, small towns, and cities. The program invites county residents as well as non-residents to travel to and through some of Licking County’s hidden gems such as Blackhand Gorge, Flint Ridge, downtown Utica and more to tie in the county’s rich and diverse history to its beautiful scenery.
A crew led by LCATS employees, along with the help and input of Licking County Planning Commission employees, have installed directional wayfinding signage for 3 complete Pathfinder Routes to date. The wayfinding signs can be used to travel both directions of the routes. Sign installation is a continuing process for the 5 remaining routes that traverse the county. These routes have been preliminarily planned and can be seen on our interactive Pathfinder Routes map noted as "Coming Soon".
The first completed route is the Foothills Pathfinder Route. It is roughly 44 miles in length and travels from Utica to Hanover here in Licking County, OH. This route highlights the Northeastern area of the county. The majority of the Western side of the county was mostly glaciated and the ends, or moraines, of the glaciated area left impressions and a rolling hills effect. This effect gradually changes from the point at which the Foothills Pathfinder route begins.
The second route, Hidden Legends Pathfinder Route has one end that ends or begins near the termination of the Foothills Pathfinder Route in Hanover. The Hidden Legends Pathfinder route extends from Hanover to Newark near the Great Circle and Octagon mounds with a length near 32 miles. This route is significant in that it ties some of the areas lesser known hidden gems, or "Hidden Legends" as we are calling them. These Hidden Legends are better known as Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve, Flint Ridge State Park, Taft Nature Preserve, and the Newark Earthworks sites (The Great Circle and Octagon Earthworks). These Earthworks are being included in an effort to be designated as a World Heritage Site, which is kind of a big deal!
The third route is named Buckeye Frontier Pathfinder Route and it will take a path from Hanover passing by Newark and Buckeye Lake and will end near Hebron. Its length is 41 miles. The theme of this route is described within its name to highlight the areas it travels from Hebron near the historic National Road, through the Buckeye Lake Area where some of Ohio's earliest settlers inhabited, up SR 13 passing by Dawes Arboretum, into Newark near the historic downtown area, and over to Hanover near the termination of the first two routes; Foothills and Hidden Legends where it can also pull from their overall themes.
Bit & Bridle Pathfinder Route is the fourth route at nearly 44 miles in length. Like its name implies, this Pathfinder Route showcases horse farms scattered among scenic landscapes in western Licking County. It meanders through Granville, Liberty, St. Albans, Jersey and Monroe Townships and connects the beautiful downtowns of Granville and Johnstown. Bit & Bridle will connect to forthcoming routes in the future, so check back for more details in the future!
For more information:
Main Line: (740) 670-5200
Fax: (740) 670-5197
20 South Second Street
Newark, OH 43055
Alex Nouanesengsy, Transportation Planner I, GIS Data Manager
Next Event: TBD
Event Flyer: Click Here
Event Map Foothills Map: Click Here
Event Map Legend Hills: Click Here
Event Map Buckeye Frontier: Click Here
Register: Click Here or call (740) 670-5200