Kentucky 1491

In the Time of the Original Peoples

A guide for the modern traveler who wishes to re-trace the ancient pathways

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Essays and Academic Documents of Interest

"The Archaeology of Kentucky" (613 pages)

"1924-1925 Report of the American Bureau of Ethnology" (takes several minutes to load)
Very interesting, beginning at page 779. Save it to your HD for easier searching

"Pre-Columbian Map of the Mississippi?"

"Throwing Sticks"

"Mound Builders"

"Cherokee Myths"

"Aboriginal mummy with red hair"

"Shell Mounds Were Early Dakota Sioux Hopewell"

"The History of the Daniel Boone National Forest - Early Traces and Roads"

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Documenting and Retracing the Ancient Trails of Kentucky

Employing Four Essential Principles of Trail Finding

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* Linking Waypoints Recorded in the Historial Record

* Directional Efficiency Toward a Known Destination

* Safety and Energy Conservation

* Repeatability

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(Click on a photo or a map below to access the pages for that trail)

The Morgan's Station Trail

From East of Mt. Sterling, Ky. to the Ohio River East of Portsmouth


Athawominee - The Warrior's Path

Portsmouth, Oh. to the Eskippakithiki village site

Eskippakithiki to the Cumberland Gap

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The Sheltowee Trace

North of Morehead, Ky to Rt. 27 west of Oneida, Tn.

The Hiawassee Trail

The Tennessee, Ohio and Great Lakes Trail

Catanooga, Tn. to Burnside, Ky.

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The Clear Fork Trail

Williamsburg, Ky to the Bowman Site north of Jellico, Tn.

The Watts Creek Trail

Watts Creek north to the Laurel River

The Cumberland River to the Laurel River north of Corbin, Ky.

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The Filson Trail

The Falls of the Ohio to Cumberland Gap

This trail conforms to and extends Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road

Boone's Trace

The Hazel Patch to Boonesboro

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The Buttermilk Road

Henderson, Ky. to Nashville, Tn.

Skagg's Trace

Flat Lick to Stanford, Ky..

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The Thunderstruck Shoals Trail

Wiborg, Ky. to the Cumberland River near Interstate 75

The Meadow Creek Trail

Williamsburg, Ky. to the Cumberland River

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The Capuchin Trail

From the Silerville, Ky. to the Bowman site

The Black Mountain Trails

Pineville, Ky to the Harlan, Ky.

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The Tennessee, Ohio and Great Lakes Trail

From the Tennessee River to the Ohio River

Kentucky Segment of the Yadkin to Boonesboro Trail

From the Wilderness Road near London, Ky. to Boonesboro

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The Alanant-o-wamiowee Trail

From Big Bone Lick through central Kentucky and back to the Ohio River

Olive Hill to Poplar Plains Trail

Olive Hill to Upper Tygart to Poplar Plains

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Previously Undocumented Trails

Comments on "Un-named Trails"


Best Trail Segments for Biking

Morgan's Station Trail

Route 784 to Iron Hill, then south on Rockhouse Road and Smith Branch to Rt. 60 (10 miles)

Route 801 and Route 460 through Cave Run and then along Beaver Creek to Frenchburg (15 miles)

From Grayson on Rt. 7 to Rt. 773 to EK Railroad Dr. to Grahn Rd to Sinking Creek Rd. to Grahn (10 miles)

Warrior's Path

From Vanceburg on Rt 3037 to Rt. 10 to Rt. 989 then up Toller Hollow Rd. to its end. (10 miles)

Rt. 11 from the Licking River to Interstate 64. (10 miles)

Rt. 1331 from Rt. 965 to Harpers Ridge Rd. to Morgan's Station to Spenser Rd. (5 miles)

Wagersville Rd. from Rt. 89 to Rt. 587 (10 miles)


Best Trail Segments for Hiking and Camping

Morgan's Station Trail

Route 784 to Iron Hill, then south on Rockhouse Road and Smith Branch to Rt. 60 (10 miles)

Tygarts Creek and Cave Branch trails within Carter Caves State Resort Park (8 miles)

Sheltowee Trace

In and around Cave Run Lake (4 miles)

Warrior's Path Segments on the Seltowee Trace

Rt. 646 from Rt. 11 to Kidville Rd. to Rt. 15 (5 miles)

Wagersville Rd. from Rt. 89 to Daniel Boone National Forest, then south to Grayhawk (20 miles)


Shawnee Migration Route Map


Cultural Boundaries Map


Note the trail marked as running between the area of the upper Tygarts Creek and the Little Sandy River.
I've zoomed in on that area below:

The wide horizonal double line is the Ohio River.

The Scioto River is the vertical black line in the upper left of this image.
This is confirmed by the placement of Lower Shawnee town.

The vertical black line on the right is the Big Sandy River.

There are two very faint vertical lines just to the left of the Big Sandy that seem to converge
at a point where a broadly drawn trail from the south jogs off to the east to cross
the Big Sandy and continue on to the northeast to the Ohio River near the
Kanawah River ("Kanhawa R.") in West Virginia.
At first I thought these represented the Little Sandy and Tygarts Creek, but then I noticed
that the two lines are extended across the Ohio River. This would seem to indicate that
the two faint lines represent trails, rather the courses of two streams. As documented in the
book "In Search of Morgan's Station", both Tygarts Creek and the Little Sandy River were known
to be trails from interior Kentucky to the Ohio River.

I did some searching on the internet and was able to find only one map of Native American trails
in the area of the Scioto River. None of them are to the immediate east of the Scioto.



Excerpt from "Kentucky Cherokee: People of the Cave" by Dr. Tankersley

A larger image of this map


Native American names used in our region

"Ah-wah-nee" - Native American settlement near present day Irvine, Ky.

"Ken-ta-ke" - "Place of Blue Licks" - Kentucky

"Oua-sioto" - the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky

"Kinniconnick" Shawnee word that meant "willow bark" - Kinniconick Creek

"Nepernine" - the Licking River

"Scioto" - the Scioto River

"Amazing Grace" (in Cherokee)

Article on Shawnee names used in Kentucky


"Prehistoric Trails of the Upper Cumberland River Basin" By Patsy Woodring


"Walking Ancient Kentucky” by J. W. Grace - updated 10/5/2014


Notable Archaeological Sites of Eastern Kentucky and Southeastern Ohio

Adena Mound near Shannon, Kentucky in Mason County

Adena Mound near Ashland, Kentucky

Adena Enclosure near Lexington, Kentucky

Biggs Site, Greenup County

Bogy Hill Sun Temples, Madison County

Buckner Site, Borbon County

Cleek-McCabe Site, Boone County

Feurt Mounds and Village Site, Scioto County, Ohio

Fox Farm Site, Mays Lick, Mason County

Gaitskill Mound, Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County

Gaitskill Mound Tablet, Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County

Hansen Site, Greenup County

Hardin Village Site, Greenup County

Leo Petroglyph, Jackson County, Ohio

Lower Shawneetown, Greenup County

Mount Horeb Earthworks Complex, Fayette County

Mount Sterling, Montgomery County

Portsmouth Earthworks, Scioto County, Ohio

Pretty Run Creek Mounds near Winchester, Clark County

Pretty Run Creek Mounds (2)

Ramey Mound, Bath County

Ronald Watson Gravel Site, Boone County

Round Hill, Madison County

Sun Temple near Lexington, Fayette County

Thompson Site, Greenup County

Tremper Mound and Works, Scioto County, Ohio


Maps of Interest

Hopewell Interaction Sphere

Carte Nouvelle france et 13 colonies en 1710

Sanson map 1656 Jesuits

Fort Ancient Monongahela cultures


Trails I'm working on


From: "Sharon Karns" 
 To: KYBATH-L@rootsweb.com
 Subject: [KYBATH] Ky. Trails
 Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 22:38:06 -0800

 CUMBERLAND-OHIO FALLS TRAIL: This was an important trail during the
 pioneering period as it was the shortest and most easily traveled route
 from Nashville, Davidson Co, TN to the settlements at the Falls of the
 Ohio. It ran from Nashville to Russellville, Logan, KY; from there to
 Elizabethtown in Hardin County; to Shephardsville in Bullitt County and
 ended up in Louisville in Jefferson County. (Hathaway). The usage of
 this trail began approximately 1779 (possibly earlier). It took a branch
 west off the Wilderness Road near Logan's Station in Lincoln County,
 crossed the South Fork of the Rolling Fork River; passed thru a gap in
 the creeks and the Trace Fork of Pitman Creek in Taylor Conty. It then
 crossed the Green River at Pitman's Station in Green County, went across
 the "barrens", crossed the Barren River near McFadin's Station in Warren
 County; went southwest to the Cumberland Settlements near Nashville.
 James Robertson and his men used this rounte in driving cattle on their
 way to settle at the French Salt Lick on the Cumberland River in 1779-
 80. John Donelson, (co-founder of Nashville) was killed on this
 trail/trace in the mid 1780's.


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