Section 10 left off at Charit Creek, but we were picking up at Leatherwood and skipping the 13-miles in between. I had led a beginner's backpacking trip on that section back in May and it was going to have to count for my Hiker Challenge miles because I didn't have time to do that section again this year. 15 miles until I was done! I was so excited! Couldn't believe I've walked over 400 miles this year. That might even be more miles than I've ever hiked previously.
While the sun was shining and the clouds were staying small, we couldn't believe how much it rained overnight. The river was raging and I thought for sure the trail would be flooded and impassible at some point. A mile in, we came to a part where it was indeed flooded. I pushed to turn around and come back another day because I had a feeling we would keep running into parts like this. My brother pushed me to do a little bushwhacking and climb across. I reluctantly gave in and we kept going. Seeing raging creeks and waterfalls all along our way. It was a really perfect day to hike this section- the water was flowing, but not on us. There were so many cool rock shelters and waterfalls on the trail- it is surely the most scenic part of the whole Sheltowee. Once we crossed the river at the O&W bridge, we had a massive uphill climb that was no problem for us seasoned hikers. Once at the top of the ridge, the rest of the hike was pretty easy besides the creek crossings. We weren't going to do this section after a heavy rain without getting our feet in the water. We crossed the creek at Boulder House Falls and were so glad there happened to be someone there to take our picture. We hopped in the water and posed together with the creek rushing at our ankles and the sun glimmering behind us through the "Boulder House". The trail got more scenic as we climbed to the very top of the ridge overlooking the river again. Downhill we went as the last two miles climbed down to the river and followed it to Burnt Mill Bridge. Michael had assured me that we didn't need to shuttle ourselves for this section because his local friend volunteered to pick us up. I believed him so hard, but he was playing a trick on me. Our dad drove down and made a surprise appearance! About 1 mile from the southern terminus, I turned a corner and there he was- just chillin' on a rock! He originally told me he really wanted to come down and shuttle us and hike with us a little, but he had to work. He and Michael conspired to surprise me and he switched shifts to be able to drive down to be there when I finished the trail. It meant a lot that he was there because he is my daddy and my love of hiking comes from him. We crossed the finish line, got pictures on the bridge, and drove up to the Honey Creek Overlook for sunset. It was the perfect end to a perfect day! I am so grateful for my supportive family and glad they are also very passionate about hiking. 333 miles on the Sheltowee this year! DONE!
Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail
This trail is 333 miles long running from Morehead, KY to Oneida, TN. These blogs are about my experiences backpacking this trail. I've hiked every section at least once and was a class of 2019 Hiker Challenge participant.