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Sheltowee Trace: Billows to Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

  • May 24, 2013 · 7:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

This is an Advanced level trip over Memorial Day weekend.

We'll hike 40 miles in the Daniel Boone National Forest along the Sheltowee Trace (ST) and some connecting trails. Highlights include Cumberland Falls (potential moonbow), Van Hook Falls, Bee Rock, Laurel River Lake and Dog Slaughter Falls.

The ST crosses the hills of south central Kentucky. Because it is a long distance trail, there are some short road walks/potential gravel routes, and it occasionally crosses private land. This trip is designed to give a quick taste of thru-hiking with some short stops for scenery and is intended to challenge the hiker with longer daily mileage. The organizers have not hiked this route, so bring along a sense of adventure and willingness to scout.


$26 non-refundable fee at time of reservation covers $5 meetup fee, campground and shuttle fees. (You must have previous multi-day, self-supporting backpacking experience before signing up for this trip. If you have any questions about your readiness for the trip, email the organizers before signing up.)

Gas is split with your car pool (bring cash)


Friday, May 24th: Drive to Cumberland Falls State Park, KY area. Car camp at a local outfitters. Potential moonbow viewing if we drive into the park that night. ("Known as the "Niagara of the South," the 125-foot wide curtain of water is dramatic day or night. But it's only at night during a full moon that you can see the moonbow, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere."

Sat, May 25th: 7:30am depart campground for shuttle. Shuttle to trailhead at Rt. 80. On trail by approx. 9-9:30am.

Sat-Mon: Hike south following Sheltowee Trace.  Approximately 40 miles of hiking over 3 days (12-15 miles/day). Expect to hike from 8 am to dusk with few breaks. Please note the long daily mileage and be prepared for fun and challenging hiking.

Mon night: Return to cars, car camp at Cumberland Falls. 2nd opportunity for moon bow, showers available.

Tue: Return to Chicago. We're planning a full day for driving with no hiking so participants can get into the city with time to unpack and rest on Tue. Individual car pools may decide independently if they want to spend more time in the area.

Organizers are volunteers, not guides. Participants must have experience with self-supporting multi-night backcountry trips. Each participant is responsible for own gear and food. While we are only spending two nights in the backcountry, the mileage and terrain make this a challenging trip. Participation is at the discretion of the organizers. E-mail the organizers if you have any questions about your readiness for this trip. If the organizers haven't met you, they may ask to meet up before the trip (e.g. after the April meeting.)

  • We practice Leave No Trace and expect that everyone on the trip is committed to these principles
  • This is an advanced trip due to the mileage and rugged terrain.
  • No add-ons. If your friend wants to attend, please ask him/her to sign up for the meetup site and join the trip. Everyone who signs up must have adequate backpacking experience.
  • No pets, children, or other dependents
  • The waitlist will be first-come, first-served.

Car Pool: Organizers will make car pool arrangements. Please check the email affiliated with meetup for arrangements approximately 10 days before the trip. Participants who don't respond to car pool inquiries by a week before the trip will be dropped from the trip.

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  • Doug C.

    Thanks for a great trip everyone! We covered a lot of miles, but had a great time. See you on the trail next time.

    May 30, 2013

  • Sonja

    Thanks to everyone for your enthusiasm on this trip! I was impressed by the stamina of the group.

    May 29, 2013

  • Christopher

    Sorry, guys. Perforated eardrum means I gotta drop.

    May 23, 2013

  • Sonja

    Car pools and other info sent yesterday. Please get in touch with your car pool. Let me or Doug know if you haven't received the email.

    May 22, 2013

  • Sonja

    Hi Randy, Doug's sending those out in about an hour

    May 21, 2013

  • Randy J.

    Is there a carpool list yet?

    May 21, 2013

  • Sonja

    Hi Erika,
    We're going through the waitlist this week. We may reopen it, and if we do, I'll make sure you're the next one on.

    April 30, 2013

    • Sonja

      Hi, we're still going through in order of sign ups. Glad to know there's still interest

      May 8, 2013

    • Erika

      Any updates on the wait list?

      May 17, 2013

  • Erika

    I'd like to wait list if still possible.

    April 30, 2013

  • Sonja

    Hi Alex,
    I sent you an email through meetup.

    March 27, 2013

  • Alex H.

    Hi Doug/Sonja

    I have done 5-7 mile hike for beginner last week. I will be attending beginner boot-camp on Apr 20. Today I have RSVP for Cumberland Falls State Resort Park . My question is if you are comfortable to have me on this hick.?
    Alex habib

    March 26, 2013

  • Rob

    That's a good trip. That's a trip idea I was working on myself. I would love to go with you but already have other plans that weekend.

    March 15, 2013

7 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Sheltowee Trace: Billows to Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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