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Trailduststaed - Sheltowee Trace Trail Journal - 2013

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City: Burtonville
State: Kentucky
Country: USA
Begins: Jan 18, 2013
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Dec 1st, 2012
Start: Northern Terminus - Rowan Co. Kentucky
End: Morehead, Ky.

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 157
Journal Visits: 157
Guestbook Views: 1
Guestbook Entrys: 0

Registration, Promotion, Preparation - 2013 Hiker Challenge

For the second year, the Sheltowee Trace Association is hosting the Hiker Challenge. Backpackers sign up to hike the Trace, one section a month beginning at the Northern Terminus and ending in November at the Southern Terminus at Leatherwood trail head in the Big South Fork, National River and Recreation Area. In the month of December we put the word out through Facebook, our e-newsletter, Twitter letting members and friends know that it is time to register for the Challenge. This year, to make it easier for folks who might have a conflict with the Challenge date, we are hosting two hikes of the same section. We are also working to keep more folks in the Challenge, especially in the cold months by offering the 5 pound drop of personal gear with the support vehicle so they can bring extra cold weather gear. The objective is to not drive folks away, discourage them with the cold, distance of each section but to encourage them to stay with it, month by month and in the end feel that sense of accomplishment. Some also will hike in preparation for other trail experiences like an A.T. hike.

To our surprise, here in December, we have over 60 backpackers signed up for all or at least a part of the Challenge. We know from last years Challenge that at least 10% will quit after the first section and another 10% will drop out from schedule conflicts. Still that is a lot of folks on the Trace. To limit the potential damage to the Trace and to uphold our desire to "Leave No Trace", the large groups will use existing campsites and not create new spaces. We are seeing more and more Challengers with hammocks which will further reduce the footprint of the group.

Registrations show a wide variety of backgrounds, ages, experience levels among the participants. Youngest are 12 soon to be 13 twin boys with their mom. Oldest seems to be a couple men in their late 60's early 70's. They come from not just the Bluegrass but also from the Cincinnati Ohio area, with a few from Indiana. We even have one signed up for a couple sections from Minnesota.

Each month they will hike at least 22 to 25 miles sometimes more. They will stay mostly in primitive sites in the Daniel Boone NF. They will see the DBNF at its best, away from the noise of the city, walking ridges, into valleys, along rivers and streams until in November they reach the Big South Fork NRRA and the end at Leatherwood trailhead.

Stay with us as we share their journey here on

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Journal Photo

2013 STA Hiker Challenge

Protecting, Preserving, and Promoting the Sheltowee Trace, Kentucky's Long Trail. For more information visit us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and at traildust


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