Pathfinder Routes is a local heritage tourism project started by LCATS with the initiative to create scenic routes throughout Licking County. See the items below to learn 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 all 5 complete Pathfinder Routes. The wayfinding signs can be used to travel both directions of the routes. Sign installation was a lengthy, arduous process involving lots of planning, logistics, and manual labor. These routes have been our pride for the last few years of conception and execution and are now our joy to share with the community.
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
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
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.
Glacier Pass is our fifth and final route. Glacier Pass is also the longest Pathfinder Route. It runs over 50 miles between Utica to the most northwestern corner of Licking County and includes the villages of Hartford and Johnstown. The route takes its name from the glaciers that extended from the Great Lakes down to central Ohio. Like its namesake implies, Glacier Pass is an acknowledgement of the glaciers that shaped the landscape of Licking County. These glaciers also left us with mastodon fossils.
For more information:
Main Line: (740) 670-5200
Fax: (740) 670-5197
20 South Second Street
Newark, OH 43055
Visit our partner, Explore Licking County, for more on the Pathfinder Routes HERE.