The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail meanders through the Daniel Boone National Forest, parts of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and dips into Tennessee just ten miles south of the Kentucky border. The trail is 282 miles long with 269 of those miles within Kentucky.
The Sheltowee, or Big Turtle, was the name given to Daniel Boone by the Shawnees who captured him. The trail is named in honor of Boone and the Sheltowee Trail signs are marked with a turtle logo.
The southern terminus of the trail is in Tennessee at Pickett State Park. The trail then stretches north into the Big South Fork area before running along the backbone of the Daniel Boone forest. The northern end of the trail is near Morehead, Kentucky. Along the way, the trail passes by two Kentucky State Parks: Cumberland Falls State Resort Park near Big South Fork and Natural Bridge State Resort Park in the Red River Gorge National Geological Area.
For those who love adventure, the Sheltowee is an ideal hiking destination. Whether hiking the trail in segments or through-hiking, the trace is very popular as a training location for longer hikes such as the Appalachian Trail, the North Country National Scenic Trail, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, or the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Each of these trails is more than 2,000 miles in length, and the Sheltowee Trace gives hikers an idea of an extended hiking experience without ever being too far from developed areas.
There are several places to access the Sheltowee Trace and many are working on enhancing trailheads and services offered to trail users. Some of the communities the trace goes near include Morehead, McKee, Slade, Livingston, and Stearns.
For hikers who will need to camp along the route, there are three campgrounds adjacent to the trace: Turkey Foot and S-Tree both near McKee, and Clear Creek near Morehead. Camping is also allowed on national forest lands along the trail. Campers are asked to camp at least 300 feet away from the trail or any water source and at least 100 feet away from the base of any cliff.