View Full Version : ST8 - S-Tree CG to Arvel, Ky

Gambit McCrae
11-01-2022, 08:50
I have taken this year off from hiking to focus on other things. This was my first trip back on trail since January and at only 27 miles for the weekend it beat me up good! Not a lot to discuss about this stretch of ST. IT was first trip using guthooks which came in handy several times. Water was scarce but lots of tenting options thru here. Only 1 mile of road walking in this stretch, no water crossings(may be because water levels are low).
Several blowdowns. Seems like on the ST a new trail is cut before a blowdown is removed... About 2.2 miles north of Turkeyfoot CG is one of the best campsites ive ever seen along the War Fork Creek.

11-01-2022, 12:10
Glad to see you’re back at it.

I’ve not hiked on either trails, but from what I’ve read the Cumberland Trail has a similar issue with new trail being created while existing trail is neglected. This doesn’t seem like the right way to go about it, I can see folks going for a hike on a neglected section, being unhappy with the conditions, and potentially never return to the trail. Got to maintain what’s already there first and foremost. Just my two cents, I’m no expert.

11-01-2022, 15:14
Perhaps "new trail" is not deliberately cut by maintainers. Instead, hikers' impromptu detours form short "use trails" around blow downs. The Trace gets some maintenance, but not always quickly. And, having a few blow downs that must be climbed through or walked around arguably can be beneficial. The presence of a few blow downs on foot paths can discourage illegal trail use by bicyclers, mechanized bikers, and "4 wheelers".

Yes, I realize that some part of the Sheltowee Trace permit those "other uses", such as, for example, much of the trail that you, Gambit, just walked between S Tree and Turkey Foot. The challenge is to keep the mechanized users off of the trail segments where they are theoretically banned. The Forest Service has only limited enforcement resources.

11-01-2022, 15:39
I've only spent a few days and nights on the Cumberland Trail, in its northern section. I'll not return there, partly due to the lack of trail marking and maintenance. With Forest Service sponsorship, the Sheltowee Trace, which I have section hiked in its entirety, seems to be better maintained. But, walkers' expectations matter. Hiking the Trace will never be quite like strolling along a city park trail, nor is it a hikers' super highway/turnpike like much of the AT.

11-01-2022, 15:59
Perhaps "new trail" is not deliberately cut by maintainers. Instead, hikers' impromptu detours form short "use trails" around blow downs.

I’m sure there’s some of that, but what I am referring to, and what I interpreted Gambit is referring to, IS new trail deliberately cut by maintainers where trail did not previously exist in an effort to “complete” it. Blow downs are one thing, but I’ve read several reports on both of these trails where the trail ceases to exist entirely. That, imo, should be addressed before new single track is cut.

11-01-2022, 16:01
I plan to hike them both, regardless of conditions. Just a topic I thought worth discussing.

11-20-2022, 18:54
I’m in full agreement that there is a huge focus on extending this trail while existing trail *really* needs a lot of love. Some very necessary larger bridges were out (plus one I remember being terrifying), and I couldn’t stop wondering if new trail (single track) could be cut in the heavy ATV areas in Daniel Boone NF. A huge amount of the shared trails were in brutal shape, worse than any other ATV trails I’ve ever been on, to the point that motorized vehicles are starting to make more tracks through the woods to go around the massive endless deep dips in the trail (that were filled from end to end with water in the spring when I thru hiked).