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Officially designated a National Recreation Trail in 1979, the Sheltowee Trace runs 333 miles, and growing, from the northern terminus in Rowan County to the southeast border in Tennessee. The scenic vistas, incredible landscapes, rock formations, wildlife and history behind this trail are worth the trip.
The perfect day ‘or two’ trip is less than a few days drive from many major cities in and around Kentucky. Morehead, a Kentucky Trail Town, is nestled in the Daniel Boone National Forest. The community welcomes thru hikers, day hikers and mountain bikers on a regular basis. In fact, The Trace, happens to run right down Main Street so you could easily take a break and stop for a cup of coffee at The Fuzzy Duck Coffee Shop, an ice cream at Roll Over Rolled Ice Cream, even a charcuterie board at The Board Room or a meal or two at Giovanni’s Pizza. Plus, you could check out the different boutiques, local shops and new businesses that have popped up.
Wonder where the trail’s name came from? The trail is named in honor of Daniel Boone. Sheltowee (pronounced shel-toe-ee) was the name given to Boone by Chief Blackfish of the Shawnee tribe. The meaning of the name is “big turtle” which you will see is a prominent fixture along the trail. Turtles adorn each blaze along the trail including markings along roadways, sidewalks, stickers on store fronts, unique business names and coming soon to Morehead, concrete painted turtles.
The heart of the trail isn’t really the nature surrounding the trail, it’s the people who maintain the trail. The endless hours volunteers along the trail put in to keeping the trail clear, rebuilding the trail after major storm damage and so much more. Those volunteers are trail users too and want everyone to enjoy the trail just as much as them. That’s why the Sheltowee is a popular destination for all.
Visit www.visitmorehead.com to plan ahead, check out current trail maps, amazing places you can visit and places to rest after a long day’s journey.