The first great gateway to the west, Cumberland Gap is a mountain pass that was used by wildlife, Native Indian tribes, and later by settlers moving west.
Daniel Boone was hired to blaze a trail beginning in Southwest Virginia through Cumberland Gap known as the Wilderness Road. It became the route westward for pioneers who travelled west through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Both the North and the South vied for control of the Cumberland Gap during the Civil war.
Today, the park consists of approximately 20,000 acres with over 80 miles of trails for hiking and horse riding that range from easy to intense, with considerable elevation gain. Hardy hikers can journey to the White Rocks for a view that on top of this world.
Experience the backcountry like few other places allow. Trips in the backcountry range from day hikes to multiple day adventures requiring appropriate gear and preparation. The 21 mile Ridge trail runs the length of the park and can be accessed from numerous trails with major trailheads. Hiking along the ridge can be an extremely rewarding experience with spectacular scenery, wildlife viewing opportunities, and travel through time when visiting the many historic sites in the park.
There are numerous scenic and historic features in the park and ranger led programs are offered throughout the year including tours of Gap Cave and the historic Hensley Settlement.
The visitor center houses a museum and interpretive exhibits, a gift shop that features handmade crafts from the region, and an auditorium.