Sheltowee means Big Turtle. That's the name the Shawnee gave Daniel Boone when they adopted him into their tribe. Centuries after Big Turtle led early settlers through the Cumberland Gap into the Shawnee's sacred hunting ground, John Muir and other explorers followed in his footsteps. Now the Sheltowee Trace retraces the ground broken by these pioneers, along a 268-mile National Recreation Trail.
From the southern terminus at Pickett State Park, Tennessee, the trail crosses into Kentucky, then passes through the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. While winding though the Daniel Boone National Forest, the Sheltowee passes by Cumberland Falls, Natural Bridge, and the Red River Gorge. Ten miles from the northern terminus near Morehead, Kentucky, the Dry Branch Connector permits hikers to follow the Jenny Wiley Trail north to Portsmouth, Ohio or south to Jenny Wiley State Park.
Large portions of the Sheltowee Trace are open to horses and mountain bikes. However, the only way to complete the entire trail is to do so on foot. In fact, by connecting with the Jenny Wiley Trail (open only to foot traffic), one can hike from Tennessee to Ohio!
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