Cumberland Gap National Historical Park To Delve Into Region's History With Special Hikes

Special hikes that will look into some of the past of the region around Cumberland Gap National Historical Park are scheduled for Saturday. NPS photo.

Some of the fascinating history of the region surrounding Cumberland Gap National Historical Park will unfold Saturday during the 3rd Annual Within the Shadows of Cumberland Gap Heritage Walk.

Each year, some of the lesser-known people in the Gap’s history - from geologists to politicians, from scalp buyers to ancestors of presidents - are showcased. This year, visitors will encounter seven short plays along the Wilderness Road that may surprise even those who think they know all about the Cumberland Gap.

“We tend to think of people such as Daniel Boone and Civil War generals at the Cumberland Gap, but there were thousands of other people who traveled through this historic passageway” explained park historian Martha Wiley. “This is our chance to share with park visitors and neighbors some of these ‘hidden history’ stories. It’s a lot of fun for park staff and volunteers to be able to portray some of these riveting characters from our past!”

Rangers will lead three hikes along the Wilderness Road, with the first one beginning at 6 p.m., the next at 6:30 p.m., and the final at 7 p.m. Each hike will take approximately 90 minutes as participants traverse 1.5 miles on a dirt trail with hilly sections; good walking shoes are required. This popular event is free, but each tour is limited to 30 people, so reservations are recommended by calling the park visitor center at (606) 246-1075.

Visitors should be at the Daniel Boone Visitor Information Center above the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, 30 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time, as shuttles will take visitors to the starting point at the Thomas Walker parking area. In case of heavy rain the event will be cancelled.

This program is being co-hosted by the Friends of Cumberland Gap and park partner Eastern National.