Prehistoric Earthworks and Mounds of Licking County

Prehistoric Earthworks and Mounds of Licking County

Newark, Ohio 43055, United States

Created By: Licking County Library

Tour Information

Licking County has a large number of surviving earthworks and mounds built by Native Americans in the centuries, and even millennia, before the arrival of Europeans to North America. Hopewell, Adena and Fort Ancient cultures have left a lasting mark in the region. These sites were constructed with ingenuity and a deep understanding of mathematics, engineering and astronomy. Though many structures have been lost over the last two centuries, some of the most spectacular sites, such as the Great Circle Earthworks, remain. Take the Licking County Library’s driving tour of the earthworks and mounds that are publically accessible in the county and learn more about the area’s prehistory and cultural heritage.

The first part of the tour centers around the Newark Earthworks while the second half explores the county more broadly. The second half requires walking and hiking to reach prehistoric sites.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Great Circle Earthworks, with an earthen wall that varies between five and fourteen feet in height, spans twelve-hundred feet across and encompasses thirty acres.  Along the inside of the circle wall is a ditch or moat that ranges in depth... Read more
When Europeans first arrived in the Licking River Valley, they found a large and complex series of earthworks created centuries prior by the Hopewell culture. Built between 100 B.C.E and 400 C.E., the Newark Earthworks covered more than fou... Read more
The Cherry Valley Ellipse which is also referred to as the Cherry Valley Mound group on early maps unfortunately was destroyed but stood on this site surrounding and now underneath the railroad track. According to Brad Lepper senior archae... Read more
A small mound stands in the northeast section of Veterans’ Park, near the corner of Sixth and Church Streets.  The date and purpose of the mound are unknown, but its potential as a burial site may have inspired early settlers of Newark t... Read more
The Upham-Wright House located at 342 Granville Street was built between 1849-1850 by George Upham. The home was purchased by Virgil Wright in 1868 and remained in the Wright family throughout much of the twentieth century. One of the home... Read more
This monument represents the burial site of a moundbuilder. An excavation of a mound was conducted in 1933 by E.F. Greenman curator of the archaeology of the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society. An article in the Newark Advocat... Read more
The Ferris Owen Mound presides over Evans Athletic Complex, north of Ohio State University at Newark campus off Sharon Valley Road.  Originally several feet taller, the mound now stands around ten-feet high due to the agricultural activity... Read more
This 120-acre tract of earthworks containing three structures in geometric shapes, and known collectively as the Octagon Earthworks, is sited south of Ohio state route 16 in Newark on the grounds of Moundbuilders County Club.  The largest... Read more
Information The exact creature depicted in the 217-foot, nearly acre-sized mound is unknown, yet the moniker “Alligator Mound” has remained with the site. Presiding over a hilltop view of Raccoon Creek near the village of Granville, its... Read more
Dixon Mound, also known as Williams, or Williamson Mound, stands in the village of Homer. The mound is 15 feet high and 80 feet across. The village of Homer in Burlington township was founded in an area with numerous mounds and earthworks o... Read more
Infirmary Mound is located about three miles south of Granville, Ohio on Ohio State Route 37. The mound now lies within Infirmary Mound Park, a 316-acre recreation area that is part of the Licking County Park District. If you follow the Goo... Read more
Fairmont Mound stands just north of the National Road at Fairmount Church on a road of the same name.  The mound has not been attributed to a specific period or cultural group, yet, like other Native American mounds, it has become incorpor... Read more
This prehistoric structure requires a bit of a hike to observe; Huffman Mound, also known as Tippet or Tippett Mound, is located within Taft Reserve, a 425-acre reserve that is part of the Licking Park District.  Huffman Mound likely date... Read more
Flint Ridge is a geological formation covering a ten-mile stretch between eastern Licking County and western Muskingum County, just north of the National Road. Native Americans came to Flint Ridge beginning around 12,000 years ago to mine t... Read more
The Dawes Arboretum has nearly 2,000 beautiful acres to explore which includes a Hopewell Era mound. In 2015 the Arboretum preserved the site by cleaning up the mound and rerouting the trail allowing better access to the site.  The Arboret... Read more


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