Welcome to the
2017 Hiker Challenge
Schedule Change for June: We hike the 1st, 2d, and 3rd weekends. No 4th weekend hike in June.
Support Our Partners
The Sheltowee Trace Hiker Challenge is made possible with the support of our partners.
Mike's Hike and Bike - The official outfitters of the Hiker Challenge. Click Here for more information.
Natural Reliance School - Giving you the survival skills for any challenge you may have in the forest. Click Here for Information.
Next Opportunity Events - Host of the Big Turtle 50 Mile / Marathon Spring 2017. Click Here for Race Information
Sheltowee Trail Towns - The services and resources you need to succeed in your Trace Adventures.
Morehead, McKee, Livingston, London, Stearns all official Trace Trail Towns.
Section 5 - What To Expect!
The hike begins at the daycare center on 421. You go north for 1.5 miles to the large DBNF sign. Here you are back in the woods. Be careful and listen and watch for ATV and dirt bikes as they are authorized on this section of trail up to S-Tree Road. This section also has the mud puddles associated with motorized use.
Once you pop out on S-Tree Road (Mile 147) you go straight across on the gravel road and down the steep hill for 3 miles. Be thankful you are heading south. At the bottom of the hill a small stream runs across the road. Here you go left and head down the old road to Horse Lick Creek.
The trail can be confusing in this area so take some time to make sure you are going the right way. Out of Horse Lick you come out on Highway 89 for a 3 mile road walk down to the blue bridge across the Rockcastle River and the turn onto 490. In two miles you come to the halfway point on the Trace where the trail returns to the woods, and crosses a great stream. Up and over the hill, across another small stream and you are out on a short road walk over to Hazel Patch where the Trace returns to a the Wildcat gravel road.
This road walk is pleasant and isolated even though it is a wide road. You in the home stretch when you pass a family cemetery on the right and head uphill.
At top of hill, you are on the ridge line until you pop out at Wildcat Monument. Turn left here and in 1000 feet you are at the parking lot where your car is located.
This is a 32 mile weekend.
Click HERE to Register for Section Six - McKee Highway 421 to Wildcat!
2017 Media Release Adult
2017 Media Release Minor
2017 Equipment Checklist
Each month you must declare which team you will join for that hike.
THREE OPTIONS TO BECOME AN END TO ENDER
TEAM OPTIONS - As you think about which team you will join in 2017 let me share how things have changed this year.
Hiker Challenge 1.0 = This Challenge is the standard two day and one night with an option of arriving on Friday night to campout before the Saturday shuttle saving you an early morning drive. There are two teams, with team one on the 2d weekend and team 2 on the third weekend. Team will hike big miles on Saturday and shorter miles on Sunday so you should be done before 5 pm on Sunday evening. Participants will hike one weekend a month for 11 months and complete the Trace.
Hiker Challenge 2.0 = This Challenge is set up to enable participants to hike only one day of the Challenge on the 2d weekend of the month. Participants can hike only the section planned for Saturday or Sunday and not have to spend the evening in the woods. Basically, if you do the 2.0 Challenge in two years you will have completed the entire Trace.
Hiker Challenge 3.0 = This year we are offering another option for those who wish to hike the entire Trace and have some extra time to hike on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the 3rd weekend of each month for 11 months. This team will hike a portion of the normal Team 2 Saturday hike on Friday afternoon, spend the night in the woods, and camp with Team 2 from the 1.0 Challenge or in the vicinity of their location on Saturday. On Sunday, they will hike in with Team 2 of the 1.0 Challenge. So, you spend two night and 3 days completing the weekend. Great for those with the time and who do not want to do big miles on Saturday.
If you have questions please let me know. Of course you can switch from team to team whatever fits your schedule.
What Is a Hiker Challenge?
Take 323 miles, the current length of the Trace, divide those miles by 11 and then walk that distance once a month and you have the Challenge. Each month, two opportunities are planned for you to join a team of like-minded adventurers on a Saturday and Sunday hike of the Trace. Friday night campouts are planned near the shuttle point to enable participants who are over 3 hours away to come in early and avoid a long drive before dawn. The first Saturday in December, we all come together to share some stories and celebrate those who have completed the Challenge and become End to Enders.
History of Hiker Challenge
The history of the Hiker Challenge dates back to the earlier years of the STA. During a weekend hike out to Natural Arch south of Clear Creek, Steve Barbour, Executive Director of the STA, and members Dave Dummer and Mike Campbell from Morehead were forced to stop at the Arch to get out of the pouring rain. While sitting around that evening, Dave Dummer mentioned the idea of hiking a piece of the Trace, one weekend a month for 11 months and calling it the Hiker Challenge. Over 100 participants have completed the Challenge and after 6 years enthusiasm is still strong as each January a fresh group of backpacker and a few who have complete the Challenge return to the start point.
Is There a Cost to Participate?
FEES - Each month members of Team One, Two and Four will be asked to pay a participation fee of no more than $40.00 a month. You can receive a discount on that $40.00 fee by joining the STA for $30.00. With your membership you will save $5.00 a month on the fee and at the end of the year saved $30.00. We prefer the fee be paid with card through our PayPal account but you may pay at the door by check or cash.
Team 3's fee is $20.00 per weekend.
Fees are non-refundable. If you register and pay in advance your fee is non-refundable if you are unable to attend. In certain circumstances we will try to credit that fee toward the next months hike if possible. Shuttle providers are guaranteed a number of seats filled when we negotiate the price. We must pay for those seats even if they are empty. Support vehicles and supplies are paid for based on the number of registrants.
If you mark pay at the door and have to postpone you are not liable for the fee. But we also can not guarantee you a seat at the shuttle point. We will do all we can to get you on the shuttle or in our support vehicles. So bottom line is, if there is some doubt you will not be able to hike, then mark at the door.
Remember, the member discount does not apply if you pay at the door. It applies only if you pay online and in advance.
Fee for 2.0 Challenge is $20.00 a day. When registering you will have the option to select the day. There is no member discount for participating in the 2.0 version of the Challenge.