Sheltowee Trace interactive mobile map

Locate yourself on the ST

We’ve updated our map of the Sheltowee Trace on our ST site: sheltoweetrace.com/hike. The map has symbols for official recreation sites and trails for the Daniel Boone National Forest, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, and Cumberland Falls and Natural Bridge State Resort Parks. Of course, it has the ST and mile markers from the northern terminus.

Since we deployed this map last year, we have updated the Leaflet and MapBox JS to make the work with a GPS-enabled device as long as you have a cellular data connection. The points of interests and trails are clickable with useful travel information.

Our next goal is to fill out the map with more scenic destinations and include more photographs. Let us know if you have any suggestions.

[Read more…]

Sheltowee Trace North map

Trails in the northern half of the Daniel Boone

Trails in the northern half of the Daniel Boone

We are now printing the Sheltowee Trace North map, which covers the ST and official trails between the Northern Terminus and Mckee in Jackson County, Kentucky. That’s 138 miles of ST and  130 miles of official trail. The map is same scale as our previous ST south maps, but the sheet size has been enlarged to 19″ x 27″ and packs down to 4.5″ x 6.5″. We will also offer a lamination and heat press service to make these maps bomber in the field.

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map

Cover wrap of our new Sheltowee Trace Map. Click to enlarge.

A couple unique additions to this title might be useful for the serious trail enthusiast. The map is formatted to show the trail network of Cave Run Lake and Red River Gorge on single, separate sheets. The new ST reroute around Morehead and new trails in Cave Run are located. Groceries, public libraries, power lines, and pipelines are located. We’ve added 1,000 m UTM grid. What else? Lots of love and devotion for the trails of the Daniel Boone.

Overview

Low resolutions drafts of the press sheets (note these previews require Flash). These have been altered in final version. The only way to see the finished map is to hold it in your hand!

Northern Terminus
Cave Run Lake
Red River Gorge
Southern Gorge, Turkey Foot, and McKee

Just like the South ST map, when the ST leaves a sheet it has a letter in a red box as label to match the trail on the next sheet. Just follow A…B…C… for 138 miles.

Thanks for the input in correcting thre above drafts!

Kentucky transitions into fall

MODIS images of changing seasons in Kentucky, 2013

MODIS images of changing seasons in Kentucky, 2013

 

These satellite images are from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on two satellites, Aqua and Terra. MODIS captures 36 electromagnetic wavelength bands to measure atmospheric water vapor, ozone, aerosols, land fire, surface temperature, and many other important variables of global climate. These images are visible light and clearly show the change in deciduous canopy cover within roughly a month of time. Spatial resolutions are between 250 m to 1 km.

Draft of North Sheltowee Trace Map

Interactive viewer to proof the content of the map.

Interactive viewer to proof the content of the map.

We are sharing our first draft of the Sheltowee Trace North map and we encourage you to proof it and give us feedback. The map covers the ST from the north terminus in Rowan County, Kentucky to DBNF’s Turkey Foot Campground along the banks of the War Fork near McKee, Jackson County.

The print format of this map will be 19″ x 27″ and on two double-sided sheets. The layout format is following: map one is Northern Terminus to Corner Ridge at Mariba; and map two is Corner Ridge to Turkey Foot.

Since the northern half of the ST has more contiguous public land, we went to the big sheet showing larger tracts of area. Trails in the Cave Run Lake and Red River Gorge areas are completely covered; in fact, this map might cover all official trails in the Cumberland Ranger District.

What needs to be done? We still need to add elevation contour labels and Sheltowee Trace mile markers. The south map counts miles from the old southern terminus and is no longer correct. To resolve mile markers on the north map, we’ll start counting from the northern terminus and provide a conversion for north-bound hikers using either the new or old southern terminus. Any suggestions about this mile maker plan?

A few notes about the map viewer. This map viewer is built out of TileMill and should work with most modern browsers, including mobile. As we develop new data about the alignment and distance of the Trace, we can easily update this draft. The images are reduced in resolution and they will appear a little ragged. We’re proofing content, here so please don’t the aesthetics, yet!

NOTE: the interactive works in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and IE8. You’ll need to run compatibility mode if your browser is IE9 or greater.

El Niño to make the mountains colder and drier this winter

Predicting climate in the old days relied upon observing cues in nature. The Farmers’ Almanac finds that people looked at woolly worms in late summer in get a sense of winter. The more black hairs on the worm, the colder and wetter the winter. Of course woolly worms come in all configurations of black and orange colorings so how could a worm’s coat predict winter? It can as an analogy;  you look at the forecast to decide which coat you’re going to wear before leaving home. I think you would want to wear a black coat as opposed to a white coat on a very cold and sunny day to maximize the amount of solar energy you could absorb. Woolly worms just plan far ahead.

Today we track global changes in wind patterns and sea surface temperatures to predict weather conditions. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center has issued a climate forecast for this winter based on the El Niño pattern emerging in the Pacific Ocean.

Below are winter predictions for the U.S. indicating greater or lesser chances for departures in average winter temperatures and precipitation.

temps

precip

El Niño is a departure from average sea surface temperatures created by a change in the intensity and direction of equatorial winds. In a normal period, strong easterly trade winds blow across the Pacific and upwell cold, nutrient rich waters on the west coast of South America. These same winds also pile up water in the western Pacific so that the sea surface is about 2 feet higher at Indonesia than at Ecuador.

Normal Sea Surface Temperatures in °C

In an El Niño cycle, the winds are not as intense and warmer sea surface temperatures extend further to east. This change has a global impact on weather with increased precipitation on the west coast of South America and the south & east coasts of North America. Warmer than normal conditions also occur at higher latitudes in North America and over the Pacific ocean.

El Niño Sea Surface Temperatures in °C

El Niño Sea Surface Temperatures in °C

Sept 12: Sheltowee Trace Meeting in Winchester

The Future of the Trace: Sept 12, 2009

Join a group of trail enthusiasts and forest & park officials at the Daniel Boone NFS headquarters in Winchester to discuss the future of the Sheltowee Trace. We need as many committed folks as possible to attend. Voice your support for the Sheltowee Trace.

If you would like to attend, you can RSVP here with a comment so we can plan for breakfast and lunch!

Time: 9:30am
Where: Clark County Extension Office (map below)
1400 Fortune Dr
Winchester, KY 40391-8292
(859) 744-4682

Preliminary Agenda

9:30 to 10:00 – Meet and Greet – Coffee, Juice and Bagels, Donuts provided.

10:00 Opening Comments

  • Frank Beum, Forest Supervisor, Daniel Boone National Forest
  • Steve Handley, Big South Fork National Recreational Area, National Park Service
  • Carey Tichenor, Ky State Parks and Recreation
  • Steve Barbour, Interim Executive Director, The Sheltowee Trace Association

10:30 – Updates on the Current Condition of The Trace in each Ranger District and Plans for the next 12 to 24 months

10:45 – Current Management Plan Development

  • Federal and State Funding Levels
  • Challenges of a Muti-use Trail
  • Current on-going volunteer programs
  • Short Term and Long Term Maintenance Issues
  • Trace Blazing – Signage
  • Land Acquisition
  • Trace Relocation
  • Maintaining Easements
  • Development of the Volunteer Base
  • Promoting The Trace across the state

Following these discussion will be a session on forming the Sheltowee Trace Association, a non-profit dedicated to promoting and protecting this National Recreation Trail.

Map:Here

Rainy May: on track to be the wettest May ever

Spring is typically a wet month. However over the past week, Eastern Kentucky has experienced unusual rainfall amounts. The record for the month is 10.78 inches in 2004; and no other year has been above 10 inches for May. The only year that saw over 9 inches of rainfall for May was in 1995. May during 1983 and 1984 were the only times over 7 inches of rainfall.

From the National Weather Service in Jackson, Kentucky:

"2 TO 5 INCHES OF RAIN HAS FALLEN ACROSS EASTERN KENTUCKY DURING THE
MONTH OF MAY. THIS IS OF INTEREST...SINCE WE ARE ONLY ABOUT ONE
QUARTER OF THE WAY THROUGH THE MONTH. HEAVY RAINFALL IS VERY
POSSIBLE AS WE HEAD INTO MOTHERS DAY WEEKEND AND COULD PUSH RAINFALL
AMOUNTS UP ANOTHER INCH OR TWO.

THE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION FOR THE MONTH OF MAY AT THE JACKSON
WEATHER OFFICE IS 4.92 INCHES. WE HAVE ALL READY RECORDED 4.12
INCHES OF RAINFALL AS OF THIS MORNING AT 7AM. IT IS TOO EARLY TO TELL
...BUT WE ARE CERTAINLY ON TRACK TO HAVE ONE OF THE RAINIEST MAYS
EVER. THE RAINIEST MAY OCCURRED IN 2004 WHEN THE JACKSON WEATHER
OFFICE RECORDED 10.78 INCHES FOR THE MONTH. THIS WAS THE ONLY MONTH
OF MAY THAT OVER TEN INCHES OF RAIN FELL. MAY OF 1995 HAD 9.91
INCHES AND WAS THE ONLY MONTH WITH OVER 9 INCHES RECORDED. THE NEXT
HIGHEST TOTALS WERE OVER 7 INCHES AND THAT OCCURRED IN ONLY TWO
YEARS...1983 AND 1984.

HERE ARE RAINFALL TOTALS FROM EASTERN KENTUCKY COOPERATIVE WEATHER
STATIONS AND AUTOMATED SURFACE OBSERVING SYSTEMS AS OF 7 AM
EDT...FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2009.

LOCATION         /   COUNTY     /     PRECIPITATION

BARBOURVILLE         KNOX              4.38  INCHES
BAXTER               HARLAN            3.85  INCHES
BEATTYVILLE 4N       LEE               3.68  INCHES
BIG SHELBY           PIKE              3.01  INCHES
BOONEVILLE 1SE       OWSLEY            4.49  INCHES
BUCKHORN LAKE        PERRY             2.80  INCHES
CARR CREEK LAKE      KNOTT             2.73  INCHES
CAVE RUN LAKE        ROWAN             2.28  INCHES
CLAY CITY 1WNW       POWELL            2.77  INCHES
CLOSPLINT 4ESE       HARLAN            4.55  INCHES
COLO                 PULASKI           3.98  INCHES
CRESSY               ESTILL            2.59  INCHES
DRAFFIN              PIKE              3.54  INCHES
EZEL                 MORGAN            3.31  INCHES
GIMLET               ELLIOTT           2.60  INCHES
HARLAN 1S            HARLAN            3.80  INCHES
HARLAN STATE POLICE  HARLAN            2.95  INCHES
HAZARD WATER         PERRY             3.71  INCHES
HAZARD               PERRY             3.70  INCHES
HAZARD STATE POLICE  PERRY             2.95  INCHES
HEIDELBERG 2N        LEE               4.05  INCHES
BAXTER               HARLAN            3.85  INCHES
INEZ 2E              MARTIN            3.78  INCHES
ISLAND CITY          OWSLEY            5.16  INCHES
IVEL                 FLOYD             2.27  INCHES
NWS JACKSON          BREATHITT         4.12  INCHES
JEREMIAH 1S          LETCHER           3.11  INCHES
KINGDOM COME ST PARK HARLAN            3.12  INCHES
LONDON CORBIN APT    LAUREL            4.46  INCHES
MONTICELLO 3NE       WAYNE             4.00  INCHES
MOUNT STERLING 5N    MONTGOMERY        2.41  INCHES
MOUNT VERNON         ROCKCASTLE        2.77  INCHES
ONEIDA               CLAY              4.54  INCHES
PAINTSVILLE 1E       JOHNSON           3.55  INCHES
PIKEVILLE ST POLICE  PIKE              2.05  INCHES
PRESTONSBURG 3NW     FLOYD             4.09  INCHES
QUICKSAND            BREATHITT         3.52  INCHES
RELIEF               MORGAN            3.18  INCHES
ROGERS               WOLFE             2.82  INCHES
SALYERSVILLE         MAGOFFIN          4.28  INCHES
SANDY HOOK           ELLIOTT           2.67  INCHES
SKYLINE              LETCHER           3.20  INCHES
SLADE 5NE            POWELL            2.86  INCHES
SOMERSET 2N          PULASKI           3.74  INCHES
STANTON 2W           POWELL            2.88  INCHES
STEARNS 2S           MCCREARY          5.09  INCHES
VICTORY 5NW          LAUREL            4.13  INCHES
WEST LIBERTY 3NW     MORGAN            2.67  INCHES
WEST LIBERTY 11NW    MORGAN            2.57  INCHES
WHITESBURG           LETCHER           2.50  INCHES
WHITESBURG 2SE       LETCHER           3.21  INCHES
WILLIAMSBURG 1NW     WHITLEY           5.14  INCHES

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AT JACKSON WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE
DEDICATED COOPERATIVE WEATHER OBSERVERS FOR THEIR TIMELY REPORTS."

(raw) 3D map of Eastern Kentucky

As we gear up for the Sheltowee Trace topographic map, I thought it would be interesting to see if a complete 3d map of the ST could be printed. Unfortunately, it would have to be a huge sheet of paper to get the detail necessary for a good map. But as an online viewer, I see potential. This sample is a raw render output and you can see well the basic physiography. Now we just need to add trails, transportation, labels, etc….nothing too much, just about 6,000 sq. mi. for the Daniel Boone NF.

3D map
Explore this map through a zoomable flash map

Cave Run Lake Bird’s Eye View

How about a 3D map of Cave run Lake? I’ve been playing around with creating one for the entire Sheltowee Trace, so I started with the northern terminus. Nothing too serious since the map really couldn’t be used with GPS, but something that shows the varied terrain through which the ST travels. This zoomify map shows the trail from the northern terminus and Corner Ridge. Map is not finished and not entirely labeled, but it shows the Sheltowee Trace pretty clearly. View Map

Cave Run Lake Bird's Eye View

Trail conditions in Cave Run Lake

Trails in the Cave Run area survived the recent ice storm, though vandalism at Tater Knob Fire Tower seriously damaged the tower. Some individual(s) set fire to the structure and it is now closed. Please contact the U.S. Forest Service if you have information about this act of arson.

Cave Run Lake Trail Conditions

STAwesome. That’s the a good word to describe the current trail conditions at Cave Run. Often plagued with muddy trail conditions from numerous seeps, the trails now are fast, firm, and fantastic. Trails around sandstone outcroppings are sandy as usually and the soil elsewhere is dusty.

Water is an issue for backcountry ridge campers. Clear Creek is not flowing at the Iron Furnace. Occasional pools are found with plenty of crawdads and water spiders, but above that nothing. Of course the lake has plenty of water, but one will have to climb off the ridge to refill their nalgenes.

For more info about the drought conditions the forest is experiencing, visit our post on this topic here.