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Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 'Three States' © Maria Trigo
Scenic overlook takes in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.
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USA Parks
Kentucky
Highlands Region
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
CUMBERLAND GAP NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
CUMBERLAND GAP NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
US 25E South
Middlesboro, Kentucky   40965-1848

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Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
'Three States'
© Perspective Images http//perspectives.shutterbugstorefront.com

Scenic overlook takes in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
'Walkway to the Overlook'
© Perspective Images http//perspectives.shutterbugstorefront.com

A beautiful walkway to the scenic overlook.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
© Perspective Images http//perspectives.shutterbugstorefront.com

Throughout the ages, poets, songwriters, novelists, journal writers, historians and artists have captured the grandeur of the Cumberland Gap. James Smith, in his journal of 1792, penned what is perhaps one of the most poignant descriptions of this national and historically significant landmark: "We started just as the sun began to gild the tops of the high mountains. We ascended Cumberland Mountain, from the top of which the bright luminary of day appeared to our view in all his rising glory; the mists dispersed and the floating clouds hasted away at his appearing. This is the famous Cumberland Gap..." Thanks to the vision of Congress, who in 1940 authorized Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, visitors today can still bask in its beauty and immerse themselves in its rich history.

The story of the first doorway to the west is commemorated at the national park, located where the borders of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia meet. Carved by wind and water, Cumberland Gap forms a major break in the formidable Appalachian Mountain chain. First used by large game animals in their migratory journeys, followed by Native Americans, the Cumberland Gap was the first and best avenue for the settlement of the interior of this nation. From 1775 to 1810, the Gap's heyday, between 200,000 and 300,000 men, women, and children from all walks of life, crossed the Gap into "Kentuckee."
History of the Area
It was not until 1750 that Dr. Thomas Walker, surveyor for the Loyal Land Company, became the first to explore, describe, and document the route to the Gap; which he named in honor of William, Duke of Cumberland, brother of King George II. In 1775, a little known longhunter named Daniel Boone was commissioned to blaze a road through the Gap. Boone's Trace evolved into the Wilderness Road, establishing his place in history as a frontiersman and pathfinder. During the dark and dangerous days of the Revolution, the settlements in Kentucky, headed by men like Boone and James Harrod, maintained a toehold in the wilderness, securing claim to the western lands for the young nation.

The importance of the Gap in the post-Revolutionary period is of major significance. The discovery and use of Cumberland Gap released a floodtide of settlers into the lands of the interior. A mere ten years after the end of the Revolution, Kentucky became the 15th state boasting a population of 220,000. Though other routes were utilized, Cumberland Gap was "the way West" until 1810. In the 20th Century, Cumberland Gap (and its associated roadways) continued to be a major economic artery for the Appalachian region. Modernization of the roadways began in 1908 with the completion of the "Object Lesson Road"; a Federal demonstration project by the Bureau of Public Roads. This road opened the Gap to commercial traffic. In the 1920s the old Wilderness Road became Highways 25E and 58, allowing mechanized traffic through the Gap.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseHiking Trailyes
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Boats and RVs
Griffin Island Campground - Sevierville, TNBoat Rentals
Looking for something different Griffin Island is a family owned and family friendly 32 acre property that includes rental campers, full hook-up sites, and tent sites for rent on Douglas Lake. Griffin Island is your getaway from the mainstream but close enough to all the attraction of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.brPhone 866-461-4561
52.1 miles from park*


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Area Fishing Related Businesses

Deer Ridge Bait
2427 Us Highway 25 E
Middlesboro, KY
(606) 242-2248


Imperial Bait & Tackle
Colmar Rd
Middlesboro, KY
(606) 248-8213


Area Accommodations (over 15 miles away)
Nolichuckey Bluffs Bed and Breakfast Cabins - Greeneville, NCCottages and Cabins
Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains near historic Greeneville, Tennessee, Nolichuckey Bluffs offers a relaxing escape with East Tennessee hospitality.
Web Site: tennessee-cabins.com
56.1 miles from park*
Griffin Island Campground - Sevierville, TNCampgrounds
Looking for something different Griffin Island is a family owned and family friendly 32 acre property that includes rental campers, full hook-up sites, and tent sites for rent on Douglas Lake. Griffin Island is your getaway from the mainstream but close enough to all the attraction of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.brPhone 866-461-4561
Web Site: griffinisland.net
52.1 miles from park*
Area Resources
Nolichuckey Bluffs Bed and Breakfast Cabins - Greeneville, NCWedding Facilities
Nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains near historic Greeneville, Tennessee, Nolichuckey Bluffs offers a relaxing escape with East Tennessee hospitality.
Web Site: tennessee-cabins.com
56.1 miles from park*
Virginia Wilder Real Estate, LLC - Rose Hill, VARealtor
Virginia Wilder Real Estate, LLC has been voted The Best Real Estate Agency in the Tri-State area. Virginia Wilder Real Estate, LLC offers the latest technology, uses the resources the real estate industry has to offer and is ready to serve YOU Give Tina Jirava a call toll free 877-237-8208 ext 1.
Web Site: vwilderrealestate.com/
10.8 miles from park*
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Directions
Plane - The closest major airport is located in Knoxville, Tennessee about a two hour drive from Cumberland Gap.

Flights can also be made into the Lexington, Kentucky airport. Follow Interstate 75 in Kentucky. Cumberland Gap is located 128 miles south Lexington on 25E.

Car - Visitors traveling on Interstate 75 in Kentucky should exit on 25E at Corbin. Cumberland Gap is located 50 miles south of Corbin on 25E.

Visitors traveling on Interstate 81 in Tennessee should exit on 25E at Morristown, Tennessee. The park is located 50 miles northwest on 25E.

The park can also be accessed from Virginia by traveling west on Highway 58 to its intersection with 25E in Tennessee.

Public Transportation - There is no public transportation in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

USA Parks
Kentucky
Highlands Region
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
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