Historical Marker #2473 commemorates the portion of Boone Trace leaving the relatively level Laurel County area into the mountainous and remote Rockcastle County area which became quite arduous for the Daniel Boone and his trailblazing party during the epic journey is 1775 while marking Boone Trace, the first road, ever, into the land that was to become Kentucky.
They had to ford the Rockcastle River and then head up what is now known as Trace Branch Road. They camped near the river; and by some reports, the remains of John Stewart, who had explored here previously in 1769 with Daniel Boone and disappeared, were found later in this area in the hollow of a tree.
This area is also described in the journal of William Calk who followed Boone Trace in the party of Richard Henderson, closely behind Daniel Boone in April 1775:
Clear with a Small frost. we Start Early. we meet Some men that turns & goes With us. we travel this Day through the plais Caled the Bressh & cross Rockcastle River & camp ther this Night & have fine food for our horses.
Cloudy & warm. we Start Early & go on about 2 mile down the River and then turn up a creek that we crost about 50 times.48 Some very Bad foards with a great Deal of very good land on it. in the Eavening we git over to the Waters of Caintuck & go a littel Down the creek & there we camp. Keep Sentry the forepart of the night. it Rains very har all night.
this is a very Rany morning But Breaks about a 11 oclock & we go on and Camp this Night in Several Companeys on Some of the Creeks of Cain tuck.
fair & Cool and we go”
Note: What Calk calls “the Bressh” was the Hazel Patch, a well-known landmark in pioneer days. The road forked there and was the origin of the “Wilderness Road” which evolved out of Boone Trace later in 1796, turning west and terminating in Louisville.
Near the top of Trace Branch Road, before it reaches the ridge line, the trail cuts off to the northwest up a ravine through the Daniel Boone National Forest along a spectacular cliff, then crosses over the ridge and down to Crooked Creek and Mullins Station where it picks up Roundstone Creek to the north.