Area Status: Open
This section, located on Cumerbalnd Ranger District, begins at Clear Creek Lake and ends at KY 1274. The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail is one of the most scenic areas on the Cumberland Ranger District.
Horseback riders can access this area from the trail that follows Forest Service Road #129 and crosses at the boat ramp to bypass the picnic area and bridge.
From the trailhead, follow the Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail south. A short side trail at the gravel road will lead to the historic Clear Creek Iron Furnace and the Clear Creek Picnic Area. The iron furnace was built in 1839 and produced iron until 1875. Interpretive signs explain the workings of this historic landmark.
Continue on the gravel road, cross the bridge and look for trail signs on your left. Once you cross the bridge opposite the picnic area, the trail switchbacks to the top of the ridge. Travel about 2.5 miles and look for a natural arch off to the right. Please respect this natural feature by “leaving no trace.” The trail later crosses Forest Service Road 906; in another mile, the trail crosses Forest Service Road 908.
At Forest Service Road 908, go about 1/2-mile to the top of the ridge. You will see a spectacular rock shelter across from you. Carrington Rock is at the far right of the shelter. At one time, Native Americans and Civil War soldiers used Carrington Rock as a lookout. Spend some time here to relax and enjoy the scenery. During the summer months, you will most likely see turkey vultures or hawks soaring along the cliffs.
As you continue along the ridge and descend towards KY 1274, you will be on private land. Please stay on the trail.
Trail Connectons: Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail Section 9 (11 miles) and Section 11 (5 miles)
At a Glance
||Open all year
||No motorized vehicles.
Horses are prohibited in the Clear Creek Campground and Picnic Area.
||U.S. Forest Service
||Cumberland Ranger District
2375 KY 801 South
Morehead, KY 40351
From Salt Lick, follow KY 211 south. Turn right on Forest Service Road #129 at the sign for Zilpo Recreation Area. Follow 129 past Clear Creek Lake and boat ramp. The picnic area will be on the right after the boat ramp.
Parking is available at Clear Creek Picnic Area.