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Eastern Ohio's Historic National Road

Road Trip

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flickr/Paul Sableman
108.6 miles: 3 hours, 13 minutes
The nation’s first federally funded highway, the Historic National Road stretches across six states from Maryland to Illinois. Eastern Ohio’s section of the National Road was built in the late 1820s and serves as a quieter and more scenic alternative to I-70. A few remnants of the original road remain, including “S”-shaped bridges and a “Y” bridge near Zanesville.
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Wikimedia Common/Nyttend
West Virginia state line to Morristown
19.1 miles: 36 minutes
Your road trip begins in Bridgeport at the border between West Virginia and Ohio. Construction techniques in the 1820s limited the ability to blast through rock, so the National Road follows a narrow, curving route around hills as it heads west toward the village of Morristown.
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Morristown to Cambridge
30.1 miles: 51 minutes
The modern-day construction of I-70 did quite a number on the old National Road west of Morristown, so you’ll split your time between the interstate and the two-lane alignment of the National Road on this part of the journey. You’ll leave the interstate behind near the town of Old Washington, where the scenery becomes much more rural.
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flickr/Don OBrien
Cambridge to Zanesville
25.1 miles: 47 minutes
Through Cambridge the National Road is known as Glenn Highway, honoring the birthplace of former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn. Plan to stretch your legs at South Bridge Park, where an 1828 stone arch bridge (an “S” bridge) carried the original National Road over Peters Creek. Portions of this section of the route feature bricks laid during World War I.
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Zanesville to Kirkersville
34.3 miles: 57 minutes
Leaving quaint downtown Zanesville, you’ll arrive at an interesting feature—a Y-Bridge over the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum rivers. The three-way bridge is an architectural rarity, with an intersection at the middle of the river. It’s smooth sailing the rest of your journey to Kirkersville, past small communities and corn fields along the way.