Kentucky Adventure Tour - 2022

We just completed 950 miles on the KAT. 

Fist off, a huge shout out to Jeff Stoess for the hard work that made the maps possible.

Our vehicles were my 2014 Jeep Rubicon on 35s and a 1999 Ford Explorer on 35s but open open driven by Brad from Troublemaker’s Adventure Tours and Custom Fab.

The KAT facebook website offers maps for this trail. Only use the Google Map as a back up and for additional information. Don’t be cheap like me and get the Gaia App. I downloaded it the week before but did not use it the first day and got lost. That night I received an email offering 50% off the subscription so that might be worth remembering.

The last 4 days we did everything using the Giai App and besides missing a few turns did not get lost once. Certainly Kentucky drivers are somewhat crazy, rarely slowing down for on coming traffic and very rarely saying thank you if you pull over.

I think we dodged about 200 crazy dogs, a few hundred chickens that were smarter than the dogs. Many cats, deer, turkeys and one black bear.

We started southwest of Lexington at Clay City. Stayed at the Clay City Inn cost $85 very nice double room very clean very tidy. 

DAY 1 Started the KAT midpoint Segment 1 at Bowen. Drove counterclockwise ended up in Williamsburg 206 miles later staying at the Super 8. The Super 8 was 100 yards off the trail. Super cheap, super nasty but did the job.  Drove from 8:30 until 6:30 only stopping for gas and didn’t see hardly any other traffic. Stopped on the trail to air down after about four hours and then we saw 4 side by sides, of course we were blocking the trail but did not see any more side-by-side‘s for the rest of the day. 206.1 miles for the day.

Google maps was worthless and kept getting us lost. We were unable to reload it so ended up jumping off the trail and going down to Williamsburg. 

DAY 2 started in Williamsburg and did the far S. Western Loop which took virtually all day. At the top of an unknown mountain 50 miles from Williamsburg I lost all electrics due to a battery fault but managed to get the jeep going again and hammered back to Williamsburg instead of Jellico because of the number of AutoZone‘s and O’Reillys etc. We purchased a new battery after a significant testing and found there were some wires shorting out. It was amazing the bad battery did not catch fire.1149.5 miles for the day.

Day 3 drove down to Jellico and joined the trail there. Drove every inch of the trail that day all the way to Harlan Kentucky. Spent most of the day in 4WD low range following Clear Creek Trail Road. Trail was very rocky rough, lots of mud holes, lots of off-camber, and lots of good wheeling. 136.3 miles for the day.

Day 4 started off cloudy overcast fog damp and we weren’t really happy about that but then 15 minutes climbing up the mountain we broke through the clouds and the glorious sunshine we spent the next 25 miles on the narrowest skinniest ridge road across the mountains and it was absolutely fantastic came across a chap who pulled over to let us buy it as we went down the window to say thank you his answer was Yep as a shotgun with a cross is all that pointed at us. It was mostly on blacktop but it was absolutely the best day so far. 218.6 miles for the day.

We found a camping spot on the top of a mountain on Marley Road and froze my ass off.  By  the time we reached the bottom of the mountain the next morning the sun was shining.

Day 5 started off with two hours of off-road 4WD low followed by several hours of blacktop through the flooded areas of Kentucky. We then spent another two hours or more In 4LO going through some of the most dense brush I’ve ever driven through, so I now have more pinstripes on theJeep than ever. After a couple more hours of blacktop we struggled to find a camping spot. Our day ended on Hard 11 after clearing the gatekeeper obstacle on Old Fincatle Road. We were woken up at 5.30AM by 3 locals on 1 ATV. They checked us out, one hopped on the back of the ATV and continued on down the trail and the 3rd walked back up the hill. The next morning we found a boot left 10 yards from our vehicles in the middle of the trail. We will never know the story. 193.5 miles for the day.

Day 6 started on Hard trail 11 which was relatively easy but would not be if wet. We just kept on wheeling and finished our KAT through the Daniel Boone Back Roads Byway. Just 50.3 miles for the day but almost all in 4WD. A good end to the journey. 

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