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Sheltowee Trace

Laurel Lake to Laurel Boat Ramp

The Laurel Lake section from the KY 192/1193 trail head to the Laruel Boat Ramp (11.9) is notable for it's beautiful lake vistas and emerald green water. The trail winds in and out along the fingers of the lake passing by campgrounds, boat docks and marinas. There are many access points to this trail, if you plan to leave a vehicle over night be sure to contact ranger station to let them know your agenda.

After crossing over 1193 at the Laurel Dam, the trail becomes more rugged moving up and down before passing through a natural break in the escarpment. This area is intersting for it's large cliffs and rock houses. The trail continues to Laurel Boat Ramp (Noe's Ramp on other side) Where the Cumberland and Laurel Rivers meet.There are toilets but no water at the ramp. *Times listed are accumulative.

view of laurel lake through the trees.


0.00 1193/192 Follows along road

0.26 Cross logging road, trail descends

0.56 Trail moves away from road

0.75 Paved road/ powerlined and decends left

1.13 Trail descends, crosses creek, follow along the creek, cross foot bridge

1.36 Trail follows finger of lake, turns right up hill, cross small foot bridge

1.75 Cross carved in stump, trail moves away from lake, cross small foot bridge.

2.30 Trail turns right and ascends through stand of pines, lake to left

2.65 Trail continues along and above the lake passing through more pines before mergeing with logging road

2.78 Land bridge, view of dam to left. Lake is beautiful Emerald green

2.87 Trail moves up dry creek away from lake, loops around and back to lake. (*1hr) with short stop.

3.21 Cross foot bridge, culvert to right. Road to the right. Small area for camping.

3.44 Cross foot bridge. Wintergreen trail comes in from right (#480) go left

3.68 Wintergreen trail merges again.

3.75 G-loop campground to left.

3.97 Trail is mostly flat through this area

4.23 Holly Bay boat ramp. (*2 hr)

4.29 Pass Holly Bay Marina, level trail winds it's way to the end of the lake finger

5.47 Grove of pine trees, cross drainage. Trail becomes more rugged, trail begins to ascends

6.85 Posted sign 5.0 to Laural boat ramp, 2.34 to Laural damn, juntcion Marina Trail. Cross road follow markers.

6.96 Holliday Campground Trail 1.25 to left. 2.25 to Laurel dam

7.05 Trail moves up finger, loops around other side.

7.21 Campsite nice view of the lake. Access road ends near this area.

7.65 Gravel road leads to lake.

8.22 Cross stone bridge

8.55 Trail comes in from right?

8.73 Steep climb on paved path leads to parking area, trail continues at left side of lot. Sign posted Laurel damn 1.0, Laurel ramp 3.0, Cumberland Falls 14

8.53 Cross road

8.71 Cross Resource Management road, make your way toward main road.

9.0 At the beginning of the Dam, walk along road on left cross dam. It is a bit wider.

9.5 At the end of the dam, you can cross the guard rail on the left and walk to a sandy beach. To continue, cross over the road to the right, climb the guard rail to continue the trail.

10.05 Trail is more rocky and desends along creek bed cross foot bridge and ascends. This section is not in as good of condition as previous sectons.

10.17 Trail levels out a bit

10.31 Trail merges with log road go right.

10.43 Logging road goes right, trail continues left.

10.52 Logging road comes in from left and ends. Continue straight.

10.82 Trail starts to Descend

10.94 Before descending through gap in bluffs there is a rough campsite to the left, desend into bluffs. Small campsites to right (1 or 2 small tents) before big rocks (*6.5 hr) with 2 stops

11.07 Pass through gap nice rock houses through here. Large fissure on the left leads to more rockhouses.

11.29 Trail junction, spur trail to right leads along rock face and opens up to nice river views. ST descends to creek with large boulders. This can be a challenge to cross.

11.37 Water running to your left.

11.61 Nice flat campsite over looking river. About .3 from boat ramp.

11.80 Bluff area with Cudzu vines growing over entire area. Pass through this area and descend to Laurel boat ramp.

11.90 Laurel boat ramp, confluence for Laurel and Cumberland rivers. (*8 hr) with spur hikes. Sign posted 2.5 to Laurel Dam, 3.0 Bark Creek Camp, 7.0 Dog Slaugher Falls, 11.0 to Cumberland Falls.


The campgrounds, at Holly Bay and Grove, are open from mid-April through October. Both campgrounds provide electricity, drinking water, flush toilets and shower facilities.

Primitive camping is allowed at designated areas on the lake. These areas are marked with signs showing a tent symbol and the words "Primitive Camping". There are no facilities provided and campers must pack out their trash. Camping past the lake is allowed in non-designated areas, but your site must be at least 300 feet from roads, trails, streams or shorelines.

Forest Service London District Camping Info

Kentucky Contacts

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
PO Box 1848
Middlesboro, KY 40965
(606) 248-2817

Sheltowee Trace
London Ranger District

761 S. Laurel Road
London, KY 40744 606-864-4163


Gettng There

Trail head 192/1193—Take I-75 to London Ky, exit on KY 192 west to Junction at KY 1193. Trail head parking is on the left just before the junction.

Laurel Lake Dam—Take I-75 to London Ky, exit on KY 192 west to Junction at KY 1193. Turn left and follow KY 1193 to Dam.

More Sheltowee links

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