HIGHWAY DISTRICT 12
Little Shepherd Trail: Improved yet undisturbed
LETCHER COUNTY—Wednesday, October 26, 2005—Upgrading and repairs on Little Shepherd Trail are finished and the trail is open to residents and visitors, just in time for this season’s turning of the leaves.
“There is a riot of color throughout the trail right now,” said Sara George, Information Officer for Highway District 12. “It probably won’t last long before the leaves begin to fall, but right now the views and the journey along the trail itself are breathtaking.” The trail runs from Kingdom Come State Park in Harlan County to the top of Pine Mountain near Whitesburg.
Danl Hall, Chief District Engineer, said the trail was closed in July so that drainage and a ditchline could be installed and the one-lane road leveled and graveled. The work cost $500,000 and included extending pavement from the park to just beyond Creech Overlook. “This was primarily a safety project,” Hall explained, “but the additional benefit is that people who use the trail now have a roadway that is safe enough for a passenger car.” Previously, the trail could only be accessed using a four-wheel drive vehicle or on foot.
“Black bears roam the forest throughout this area,” Hall said. “In fact, there are almost 100 species of rare plants and animals that inhabit the mountain. A drive through Little Shepherd Trail, no doubt District 12’s most unusual state road, is a memorable experience. The upgrading and repairs have improved the trail and yet left it undisturbed.”
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