Taking on Trails in Kentucky's Backwoods

Jun 2, 2011

Trail maintenance is an ongoing need in natural areas all across Kentucky.  In response,  Saturday has been designated National Trails Day.  Volunteers in eastern Kentucky will work on a couple of trail projects. Workers will gather near the Cumberland Falls area to re-route a quarter mile portion of trail along Bark Camp Creek in Whitley County.  Steve Barber is executive director of the Sheltowee Trace Association.

“That historically has been a high water area and most times dangerous for people to cross because there is no bridge there. So the forest service and the association are working together to eleviate this problem by moving the trail to higher ground and a new bridge will be constructed,” said Barber.

The Daniel Boone National Forest is a popular recreational area in a significant portion of central and southern Kentucky.  Barber says the work site near Cumberland Falls is certainly a popular spot.

“It’s highly used because a lot of folks come out from Cumberland Falls State Park and camp out at one of the two shelters on the trail here; the Star helter which is just a mile away from the Bark Camp shelter.  So, we see a lot of traffic, a lot of scout troops use it for weekend hikes,” added Barber.

The entire Sheltowee trail runs close to three hundred miles from Tennessee north to Rowan county.  Barber says there’s work to do along various sections of Kentucky trails.

“282 miles of trail requires continuous maintenance year round, so if they can’t come out this weekend, there’s always something going on, either in the Sterns area in the south part of the trail or in the London District or in the Cumberland district in the Morehead area,” explained Barber.

In another project, the  trail crew in the Red River Gorge will build two bridges over creek crossings along Rough Trail in the Gorge.