Cumberland Gap NHP interactive map

Interactive 3d map using Leaflet

Interactive 3d map using Leaflet

A bird’s eye view map of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park created in conjunction with our 2016 new release of the park map. This map is not georeferenced to real-world coordinates and uses a javascript mapping library, Leaflet, to generate the interactivity. We think of the developing project as a gateway for multimedia about the park’s environment and history that we want to share.

https://outrageGIS.com/gap/3d

 

Audio driving tour on SoundCloud

Listen to audio

Listen to audio

We’ve added our audio driving tour for Cumberland Gap and Pine Mountain to SoundCloud. This self-guided tour will show you over ancient buffalo traces and Native American trails that frontier settlers cut into roads seeking the fertile lands of Kentucky. You will walk through Cumberland Gap where the Wilderness Road and the Warrior’s Path meet and look out upon America’s First Frontier. Along the Kingdom Come Scenic Parkway, you will hear the rushing headwaters of the mighty Cumberland River.

https://soundcloud.com/boydx

Download audio and maps: http://www.firstfrontier.org/tour/FirstFrontier-Audio196kbps.zip

Pine Mountain Canopy Tour

Canopy zipline tour mapping assignment

Canopy zipline tour mapping assignment

What wild weekend and mapping task! Boyd led an undergraduate GIS class at the University of Kentucky and endeavored to map and analyze environmental tourism assets on Pine Mountain. During discussions with Pine Mountain State Resort Park, we discovered a canopy zipline tour, one of the first in the state, was being installed in the park. [Read more…]

Topography and Hemlock Habitat

Elevation range in feet within an area 164-foot square

Elevation range in feet within an area 164-foot square

Sheltered coves and north-facing cliffs are hemlock habitats in Eastern Kentucky. This map shows range of elevation change within a 164-foot square area. Red areas indicate the highest relief, which are mountain slopes in the coal fields, and cliffs along the Pottsville Escarpment and Pine and Cumberland Mountains fault. Since most cliff is sandstone, areas indicated as cliffs would presumably have sandy soils, which is a condition for other evergreen species habitats, e.g., mountain laurel and rhododendron.

This is first-run test. Further analysis would include adding aspect, evergreen canopy cover, and soils to better refine predicting hemlock habitat.

Winter into Spring, Kentucky 2014

Winter to Spring in Satellite Images, 2014

Winter to Spring in Satellite Images, 2014

After an unusually long and cold winter, Kentucky has finally emerged to full-blown spring weather. These five images show the clearest, cloud-free day for each month from January 1 to May 5. Snow is clearly seen in the first two months and it’s striking how defined the snow lines are, perhaps 20 miles. You could have heavy snow in Lexington, but snow free in Richmond.

In the January image, we can see the hemlock and pine forest in the Red River Gorge and recently mined ares in eastern Kentucky. In the February image, Cave Run Lake appears frozen.

Another interesting observation is the rate pastures and forests leaf out. Kentucky’s pastures became green in early April, while the forests leaf out by the first days of May.

March is my favorite image. The sun is the highest while the vegetation is at the minimum.  Soon, the explosion of photosynthesis will sweeten the earth with life.

No wildfires are seen (maybe one in April image in eastern Kentucky).

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.

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:
http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/travel/escapes/03pine.html

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

First Frontier Audio Driving Tour

Download and print the two-hour audio driving tour.

What trails will you blaze through this new frontier?

You will travel over ancient buffalo traces and Native American trails that frontier settlers cut into roads seeking the fertile lands of Kentucky. You will walk through Cumberland Gap where the Wilderness Road and the Warrior’s Path meet and look out upon America’s First Frontier. Along the Kingdom Come Scenic Parkway, you will hear the rushing headwaters of the mighty Cumberland River.

Download Hi quality (220 meg)

For adventuresome spirits, the unexplored road lures you to rugged mountain settlements and luxuriant coves of rhododendron blooms. Autumn hues of amber and scarlet sweeten your memories of fall vacations. Springtime stirs enchanting old-time songs and the colors of redbuds and dogwoods in our mountain festivals.

Website

Pine Mountain Trail – Elkhorn City to Skeet Rock

Skegg WallHiker Hiker Pine Mountain Trail Map
Distance: 14 Miles round-trip from trailhead
Difficulty: ++++
Scenic Views: +++
Elevation Relief: 2,100ft ^^^
Ownership: Private, Kentucky SP, Jefferson NF
Google to Elkhorn City trailhead

Buy Map

The Pine Mountain Trail is one of the most challenging trails in Kentucky. The elevation change, distance, and the undulating, serrated ridge together make a hard, but rewarding backpacking trip. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the trail are the many intersecting jeep and ohv trails. Even with a good map and navigation tools, you will loose the trail and hopscotch down this trail or that. No worries though, since the trail essentially hugs the knife edge of the ridge, you will eventually, if arduously, retake the trail. [Read more…]