Neck deep in the Sheltowee Trace

Overview map from the Sheltowee Trace South (in development)

After the successful release of our new edition of the Red River Gorge Backpacking Guide last May, we’re now deep into making a comprehensive map of the Sheltowee Trace.

This is our most ambitious mapping and publishing project yet. We’re showing the entire 282 miles of foot, equestrian, and multiuse trail at 1:32,000 scale…that’s 1 inch to a 1/2 mile. So in this publication, you’ll be able to hold the full Trace in your hands…all 12 feet of it.

Let’s think of it a different way. To show this trail adequately, we’re designing and printing over 24 sq. ft. of map at full-color. That’s equivalent to making a 4×6 foot map that labels every stream, destination, and trail. This is a generous allotment of time and paper, but the trail’s incredible beauty and future deserve it. The Sheltowee is Kentucky longest hiking trail and frankly certain parts need to be used more by hikers.

Like our other maps, the Trace map will be a fine navigation tool. We’re dropping in latitude/longitude grids for GPS navigation, mile markers for the Trace that have been meticulously measured, 50-ft topographic elevation contours, canopy cover, and connecting trails and trailheads.

We’ll release the South edition for the Woodland Park Art Fair this August, with the North edition following shortly after. Each edition will have same format: an overview map that gets you to the major trailheads and the topographic trail maps. The image on the left shows a draft of the overview map. To the general layout of the detailed maps, visit here (note these do not show any text yet, just a preview of how we’re gonna make the Sheltowee).

The Trace is a 286-mile National Recreation Trail that connects recreation areas in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork, Cumberland Falls, and Natural Bridge State Park.


  1. Pam Knight says:

    I LOVE your South portion map and am planning a backpack on the trace using it this Spring. What’s the timeline on the North part of the Trace map coming out?

    Also, I would love it if you had marked where the campsites are. I have the Johnny Molloy book that notes campsites at the mile locations and I would love to see that on a map with a tiny icon like the scenic overlook icon you chose.

    • Thanks all! We thought about adding backcountry campsites. They’re some great ones too like on the Cumberland River 2 miles south of the Falls between two gorgeous beech trees, but it’s on the trail. Molloy’s book gives some good suggestions, but at the end of the day, we didn’t want to mark campsites that might conflict with forest or park management. My philosophy is that if someone is gonna tackle the Trace, they should be comfortable putting up camp anywhere…though marking the biggest and the best campsites would be nice.

      We should have the north section proofed out for Christmas and definitely ready for the spring campaign!

  2. Definitely looking forward to buying this map.

  3. wow, can’t wait to see and buy it

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