“Notoriously good riding along Laurel Lake on the Sheltowee Trace.
— Chris Chaney
Beginning on KY 1193 where the Sheltowee comes out of Cane Creek WMA, this section of the Trace drops from the trailhead into some nice rollers before losing considerable elevation from the ridge down into the valley where the trail soon falls along the lake shore in its upper reaches.
Then the ride is a race to the dam contouring in and out of inlets and hollows on well-drained and super fun singletrack.
Take care when passing through the camping areas as there can be foot traffic down to the shore for fishing and boat access and watch for blazes and signs when crossing roads and when passing through the marina area so as not to lose the trail. When in doubt angle back toward the lake. The Trace is never far from the lakeshore in this section.
The Kentucky Mountain Bike Association has a long-standing New Year's Day get together beginning from the dam and riding north out and back as far as you dare before your appendages freeze.
You can begin at the north end where the Sheltowee crosses 1193 or at the dam. I like starting at the dam because you climb up to 1193 at the halfway point. The benefit of starting at the northern end is that you can also sample the more-technical section of the Trace to the north heading into Cane Creek WMA from the same trailhead.