View Full Version : ST12 - Eagle Lake TH - Northern Terminus

Gambit McCrae
03-13-2023, 08:56
Well I wrapped up the Sheltowee Trace this trip with 24.4 miles in what is left of winter. Started Friday night about 9pm and hiked up out of Morehead, Ky in the sleet. Immediately out of Morehead the trail climbs a bit and starts a nice rollercoaster of little climbs basically the whole way to the terminus. There was 1 stretch of gravel road walking for a few miles and just a smidge of paved road walking. Water was iffy a lot of this trip....I was grateful to have the little wildlife ponds to fill my bottle up along the way as there were only a couple creeks the whole trip. Woke up Sunday morning to a snow covered tent. There were some good tenting locations along the way and I actually saw some other hikers this time! First trip seeing other hikers since big south fork except 1 thru hiker at Turkeyfoot CG.

With this its a wrap for me on the Sheltowee Trace. I had wanted to complete it since college but never found the time until now.

Did I enjoy the ST? eh...I enjoyed hiking and camping, and portions of the trail I enjoyed but there was a lot....ALOT of road walking, and finding campsites sometimes was a real task. I enjoyed the ST becoming available on guthooks which I pushed very hard for, and got to use it on several trips toward the end of my completion.

Would I do the whole trail again? It would have to be to help someone else complete it. I would not go back out and hike this trail again just for myself.


There wasn't a climb over 500 ft on the whole trail. So the walking is easy.
There was plentiful water for probably 90% of the miles.
I had the trail to myself pretty much every trip.


The road walking
lack of designated and quality campsites
trail signage and navigation were at times a bit frustrating. I met several splits in the trail with no blaze telling me which route to choose.
Shuttle logistics. If it were not for facebook I would have had a terrible problem finding rides. I did the first 4 trips or so with 2 cars, and when I started doing the trail solo I found a trail angel on FB willing to shuttle me the rest of the way north. She was a lifesaver.

High Points on trail:

Southern 100 miles is great
Cumberland Falls
Red River Gorge
Natural Bridge SP

What's next? I leave next month(April) for a week on the CdT, Then in May I will start the BMT at Springer to start my section hiking completion of it, and then in June its back to the Pinhoti for the second leg of that completion.

03-14-2023, 02:38
Congratulations Gambit!! I section hiked all of the ST during the 1990s, mostly during 2 1/2 day out-and-back weekend trips. I disliked the road walk several miles south of Cumberland Falls but did not mind the other ones. Often those road walks were scenic and peaceful. And, I fished at some places along the Trace. Chris Daniel-Siestita

03-15-2023, 12:09
Congratulations on completing the Sheltowee Trace Trail! Your descriptions make me think I might rather tackle the western portion of the MST before working on the STT. Those two, along with the Palmetto Trail which I’ve already started, are next on my radar for regional hiking and backpacking. I think you will really enjoy the BMT and the Pinhoti. Imo, the best parts of the BMT are on the northern half and the best parts of the Pinhoti are on the southern half.

03-15-2023, 12:12
Those two, along with the Palmetto Trail which I’ve already started, are next on my radar for regional hiking and backpacking.
Should’ve clarified, hiking and backpacking on long-distance trails. I’m also working on red-lining various wilderness areas and parks which is a different type of challenge.