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Sheltowee Trace NRT: Section 26 South

 4.3 (3)

2.7 Miles 4.4 Kilometers


165' 50 m


-427' -130 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (11°)

1,104' 337 m


774' 236 m


Shared By Jeff Carter



Getting forecast...

This trail drops down to the Cumberland River and is technically challenging with a short distance of fire road.

Jeff Carter

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-


Section 26 as a whole officially begins at Cane Creek and ends at the mouth of the Laurel River. The difficulty level varies widely, so it is broken into three sections: Section 26 North, Section 26, and Section 26 South. This map is for Section 26 South which is vastly different than the preceding portions along Laurel River Lake and Cane Creek. The elevation change, technical features, and narrow trail tread are much more challenging.

There is a large paved parking lot at the south end of the Laurel River Lake dam with permanent restrooms and shelter house. Pedal south on Highway 1193. The beach will be on your left and the spillway on your right. The entrance to the trail is difficult to find. It is hidden behind the guardrail immediately south of the spillway on the spillway side of the road. Cyclocross your bike over the guard rail and head into the woods, and you'll see a trail sign. From there to the end there are no intersections along the trail, so you can't get lost.

The trail quickly gets narrow, but then enters onto an old fire road. It's fast and flowy for a while, but don't let that fool you. The good stuff is coming soon. If you had trouble navigating any portion of the trail by this point, this would be a good place to turn around. The rest is rocky with a tricky creek crossing and good scenery along the way. When you reach the boat ramp, that is the end of Section 26. You can ride up the road 0.4 miles and start Sheltowee Trace NRT: Section 27 or turn around and prepare to climb back out.


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Aug 11, 2018
Thomas Carter
Apr 16, 2017
Jeff Carter

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes


  4.3 from 3 votes
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in Kentucky


9 Views Last Month
213 Since Apr 17, 2017
Extremely Difficult Extremely Difficult

THis is a great ride, and does indeed run the full spectrum of riding fast flow and hike and bike. From the dam south to the boat ramp is very remote and not used much. The last mile or so is pretty much hike and bike as it is so rocky its nearly impossible to ride, but the first couple of miles are super fun, fairly technical, and really scenic. The lake trail is pretty easy and fast flowing single track with only a couple of moderately difficult spots/climbs. Heading from the 192/1193 Y north it gets technical again. Lots of creek crossings with steep banks and slick rocks and roots. The first couple of miles are a blast and rideable, but when you start dropping into the gorge it gets super hard and pretty much unrideable up to the falls. Feb 3, 2018
Nice, tough trail. Sees little use, I did it in the early winter/late fall and the leaf cover was so thick it was hard to ride in spots (I bet it was a foot or more deep in some drifts). Some hike and bike for me and most anyone short of really advanced riders, but thats OK. Lots of fun and very scenic. Mar 29, 2018

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