The Licking River meanders from the Cumberland Plateau in Magoffin County to eventually flow into the Ohio River, across from Cincinnati. Its name probably comes from saline springs along the river where animals gathered for the salt licks. 
The southern end of the Cabin Creek War Road was the Upper Blue Licks in Nicholas County. This was a main path into central Kentucky for early pioneers. Pioneers followed the blazes cut in trees and drawings of the sun, moon and animals left by Native Americans on to Upper Blue Licks.
The river was used as the southwestern border of the original Mason County and is the southwest border of Fleming and Rowan counties today. It enters the Ohio River in Kenton county.