The Civil War, which most thought would be over quickly, had bogged down into a long fight between the states. Heavy fighting was going on in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in Vicksburg, Mississippi, when Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan brought the war to the Northern home front. Racing through Indiana, he crossed into southwestern Ohio on July 13, 1863, and brought more than 2,000 veteran raiders with him. Their mission in crossing the state was to occupy and divert as many Union troops as possible. Department of the Ohio commander Major General Ambrose Burnside sought to stop Morgan, but that would prove a much harder job than he expected.
The 557-mile long John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail of Ohio consists of 56 interpretive signs and over 600 specialized directional signs. The interpretive signs present the historical information and stories about Morgan’s Indiana-Ohio Raid as it pertains to the location where each sign is placed. An interpretive sign contains text and pictures which describe the scene as it would have appeared in 1863 to a person watching Morgan’s men ride by. A directional sign is a standard aluminum road sign about the size of a No U-Turn sign and attached to a single pole. However, the image imprinted on the sign is unique to the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail of Ohio. The directional signs lead the traveler from one interpretive sign to the next without the need for a map.
While we try to keep the trail complete, due to reasons beyond our control, some signs (directional and interpretive) may be unavailable from time to time.
To see all 56 interpretive signs along the trail, download the pdfs below.
Please Note: If you are visiting Columbiana County and traveling between sign #54 Salineville and #55 Gavers, it is recommended you follow St. Rt. 518 between the two signs. Willard road can be difficult for some vehicles depending on weather and road conditions.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
The Guide Book (available on lulu.com)
This book serves as the official guide to the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail of Ohio, a self-guided driving tour utilizing 557 miles of Ohio’s roadways and connecting 19 different counties. The John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail is a system of roads linked by non-standard directional signs. This heritage trail generally follows the path of Confederate Brigadier-General John Hunt Morgan’s 1863 Indiana-Ohio Raid (also known as the Great Raid or Ohio Raid), an American Civil War military operation considered by some modern historians to be among the world’s top land-based raids since Sir Francis Drake’s raid on Cadiz, Spain, in 1587 (source: Samuel A. Southworth, Great Raids in History: From Drake to Desert One, Edison, NJ, 1997).