Monday, September 9, 2013

Skaggs Trace, a tributary of the Wilderness Trail

Historic Marker for Skaggs Trace
Rockcastle County, Ky.
Just after crossing the Rockcastle River into the county of the same name along highway 25, one encounters a historic marker proclaiming "SKAGGS TRACE."

The trace stretched north out of Hazel Patch to Crab Orchard where early pioneers would continue on via Logan's Trace to the Falls of the Ohio (aka Louisville). Pioneers heading out of Hazel Patch on a more easterly track would have taken Boone's Trace toward Boonesborough.

The two side of Marker #1622 read as follows:

This trail, from the Hazel Patch to Crab Orchard, crosses Rockcastle County. It was a widely used land route through Kentucky for several years and became part of the Wilderness Road. Daniel Boone crossed the Rockcastle River near here in 1775 in blazing Boone's Trace from Cumberland Gap to Boonesborough. See over.

(Reverse) Skaggs Trace - This trace was named for Henry Skaggs, a Long Hunter. Many famous pioneers, including John Floyd, Benjamin Logan and William Whitley, traveled over it. On Oct. 21, 1861, the first Kentucky Civil War battle occurred near here at Camp Wildcat. This first Union victory took place in the Rockcastle Hills. Over.
It is important to distinguish this important path for Kentucky pioneers and note who is missing from the list: Daniel Boone. Despite our desire to treat him as such, Boone was not omnipresent. He took that easterly path out of Hazel Patch.

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