Sheltowee - Osborne Loop
ElevationAscent: 2,474' 754 m
Descent: -2,501' -762 m
High: 1,274' 388 m
Low: 718' 219 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 32% (18°)
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“This run presents a pleasant loop through some of the classic trails in the Red River Gorge.”— Stephen Hornbeck
Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
At Rough Trail #221 and Sheltowee, be sure to take Sheltowee Trace northbound and not to the southwest. Sheltowee Trace has the unique Turtle Blazes.
Once Sheltowee Trace meets the Red River, a wood and cable suspension bridge spans the river and flood bank.
The Sheltowee section between the river and Bison Way has some intermediate grade with beautiful payoff. The best camping seems to be before and after this section. Within this rise, you'll find a few arches and overlooks, as well as Indian Staircase.
The Sheltowee - Lost Branch junction forms at a beautiful streambed in a hollow. The east bank has space for camping with decent tree spacing and minimal undergrowth.
Lost Branch Trail #239 quickly climbs to meet Osborne Bend Trail #240. The northerly section of trail will take you to the concrete bridge parking lot on 715.
One can take 715 back up the hill to your parking space at the Rough Trail #221 parking lot.
(As a side note, you might consider doing this in reverse so that your trail doesn't end with running uphill on the road. I personally prefer this direction for the purpose of a gradually more interesting/unique environment.)
During the day, we saw jays, a red-tailed hawk, buzzards, and golden finches. The mossy areas host newts and red efts.
At night, we heard coyotes and hoot owls.
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Need to Know, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: USFS - Daniel Boone National Forest Office