Section 38 Sheltowee Trace Trail #100

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Section 38 of the Sheltowee Trace on Stearns Ranger District begins at Hemlock Grove Picnic Area. To begin this section, you must ford Rock Creek. The trail follows Rock Creek's southside for 2 miles before reaching the Great Meadow Campground. From here the trail will gradually climb 250 feet in elevation while following above Rock Creek another 3 miles (before reaching the Kentucky-Tennessee state line and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area).

Connections:  Sheltowee Trace  Section 37

Trailhead: Hemlock Grove Picnic Area

Developed campgrounds are available at:

At a Glance

Fees None
Permit Info: A Special Use Permit is required for commercial activities (for example: fishing tournaments, boat rentals, trail rides, outfitter guides, races, etc). A permit is also required for all noncommercial group uses involving more than 75 people.
Open Season: Open all year
Usage: Light
Restrictions: This trail is developed for hiking only. 
  • Trail closed to motorized vehicles.
  • Stay on designated trails. No cross country travel.
  • Obey trail use designations as signed.
  • Respect seasonal closures. Avoid using trails when wet. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones.
  • Alcohol use is prohibited: Consumption of alcohol is prohibited on national forest land and Kentucky lakes and waterways. KRS 222.202 .
  • Prohibited: Possessing or operating a motor vehicle on roads, trails and areas not designated for that purpose on Motorized Vehicle Use Maps. 36 CFR 261.13.
  • Shortcutting a switchback on trails is prohibited. (Order DB-08-15)
  • PROHIBITED: Camping or maintaining a campsite for more than 14 consecutive days in a dispersed or non-fee area without having terminated Forest occupancy for a minimum of 10 days within a 31-day time frame (§261.58(a)); (Order DB-02-15)
Water: Potable water is available at Great Meadow Campground from April to October.
Restroom: Accessible Vault toilets are available at Great Meadows Campground or Hemlock Grove Picnic Area.
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center: Stearns Ranger District
3320 US 27 North
Whitley City, KY 42653 

General Information


From south of Whitley City, follow KY 92 west to Yamacraw Bridge. Turn left just past the bridge onto KY 1363. Go 11.4 miles to the end of the blacktop and turn right onto Forest Service Road 564. Go 1.2 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 137; go 2.6 miles. Both sections can be accessed from Hemlock Grove Picnic Area.


This trail is not accessible. 

General Notes:
The Sheltowee Trace in Tennessee
The Sheltowee Trace continues past the Kentucky-Tennessee state line and into the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (managed by the National Park Service). The trail terminates at Picket State Park in Tennessee. For more information, contact Big South Fork NRRA at 423-569-9778 or Pickett State Park at 931-879-5821.


Parking is available at Hemlock Grove Picnic Area.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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