Greetings from Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

I owe my love of nature, national parks, and public lands to my parents. One of the many unforgettable trips we’ve taken to national parks over the years was to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in late October 2011. In two days, we saw salamanders and bats in Gap Cave, contemplated the lives of 19th-century settlers during a cold, foggy tour of isolated Hensley Settlement, took in the expansive views from Pinnacle Overlook, and hiked in the footsteps of history to the Saddle of the Gap. Most importantly, we made memories to cherish.

Sincerely,
Thomas

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

This park sits at a natural opening in the Cumberland Mountains that served as one of the earliest gateways to the West for thousands of settlers traveling across the frontier. During the Civil War, Union and Confederate soldiers vied for strategic control of gap, and several forts still exist in the park. Visitors can explore the Hensley Settlement from the early 1900s, a historic community with original, hand-hewn chestnut and oak cabins. Hikers can enjoy underground tours of the park’s impressive caves, as well as more than 85 miles of trails, including routes that lead to unique rock formations and dramatic waterfalls. The four-mile drive to Pinnacle Overlook also offers wonderful views of three states.

State(s): Kentucky Tennessee, Virginia,

Established: 1940

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