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Cumberland Gap Out-and-Back

Intermediate
 3.5 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This hike heads over the Gap, across the Daniel Boone Trail, and back.


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Map Key

6.0

Miles

9.7

KM

Out and Back

1,635' 498 m

High

1,275' 389 m

Low

693' 211 m

Up

693' 211 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (3°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Cumberland Gap closes at dark. Check their website for information about backcountry camping.

Overview

Follow the path settlers took as they crossed the famous Cumberland Gap through the Appalachian Mountains. This featured hike includes the Object Lesson Road, Wilderness Road Trail, and Daniel Boone Trail.

Description

Start in the Thomas Walker parking area and follow the Object Lesson Road up to the Saddle of The Gap. The former road through the Gap has been restored to its 1907 appearance, so you may see some gravel underneath in places. As you climb up to the Gap, the Wilderness Road Trail will join about three-fourths of the way.

On your right, just a bit back from the Wilderness Road Trail, you'll see a pyramid rock structure dedicated by the Daughers of the American Revolution marking a turn onto the Wilderness Road Trail. Take this branch, and the Saddle of the Gap is a little further. You'll also pass Harlan Trail, which runs off to your left.

When you reach the Saddle of the Gap, keep an eye out for the Tri-State Peak Trail, which breaks off to the right. It's a short out-and-back to see the plaque marking where the states of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee meet. You'll continue along the Wilderness Road Trail until it meets up with the Daniel Boone Trail. You'll enjoy the small bridge over a local creek, whose fast, flowing water forms a small waterfall and has been used to power mill wheels.

From the end of the Daniel Boone Trail, retrace your steps back to the Thomas Walker parking area.

History & Background

Object Lesson Road was a trail developed from Old Highway 25 through the Gap. The whole area is full of Civil War and Wilderness historical points of interest. The park itself has added signage showing its historical significance.

Contacts

Shared By:

April French

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#4151

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#36

in Kentucky

#4,151

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Photos

An even-larger footbridge on the Daniel Boone Trail peaks Fido's interest.
Feb 20, 2017 near Jonesville, VA
Cumberland Gap
Apr 7, 2020 near unknown, unknown
A small footbridge keeps Fido's feet dry on the Daniel Boone Trail.
Feb 20, 2017 near Jonesville, VA
The Wilderness Road Trail is smooth and scenic through this section.
Feb 20, 2017 near Middles…, KY
Old furnace ruins
May 24, 2018 near Middles…, KY
The trail crosses over a low-water creek with small falls.
Feb 20, 2017 near unknown, unknown

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Check-Ins

Oct 9, 2018
Andrea Turner
Nov 4, 2017
Forrest Dolvin