“This hike heads over the Gap, across the Daniel Boone Trail, and back.”
— April French
Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers
Cumberland Gap closes at dark. Check their website
for information about backcountry camping.
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.