Pine Mountain Trail in the New York Times

October 3, 2008

Excerpt: “THIS is all virgin trail,” said Shad Baker, a connoisseur of hiking in the steeply slanted backwoods of eastern Kentucky, as he dropped me off at the start of my adventure there on the new Pine Mountain Trail. “This is probably the most remote place you can get that exists out here. You are five miles even from the nearest house.”

We said goodbye. He drove off. And then I slipped into woods so thick they looked like an American jungle.

It was only a year or two ago that the high-ridge forests of Pine Mountain, at the western edge of the Appalachians, were for all practical purposes sealed off by their own forbidding density and ruggedness — impenetrable to everyone but ginseng harvesters and squirrel hunters. This is Daniel Boone country, and as I set out that morning it was easy to imagine Boone hacking his way through it with a homemade hatchet and a long flintlock firearm. But I had markers to follow — squares of pale-yellow painted on trees at eye level…”
Read full article at New York Times:

Hiker Hiker Pine Mountain Trail Map
Difficulty: ++++
Scenic Views: +++
Elevation Relief: 2,100ft ^^^
Ownership: Private, Kentucky SP, Jefferson NF
Google to Elkhorn City trailhead

photos by Boyd Shearer


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