Cumberland Gap NP, KY, TN, VA

We survived a dicey night at Burnside Island SP.  Yay!

Just over 2 hours away, directly on our route to Asheville, is Cumberland Gap National Park. We’d never been before, so we weren’t sure exactly what to expect.

Cumberland Gap

The Visitor Center gave us a great trail map and the rangers were nice and helpful. There are quite a few short and medium-length hiking trails.  There’s also a 19 mile trail if you have the time.  😉

Cumberland Gap Trail

The main popular overlooks are great and definitely worth seeing.  However, this park doesn’t seem to be very well traveled, so we enjoyed the seclusion of the less-traveled trails. Many of the trails have been “improved” with pavement or gravel (not my idea of an improvement), but a large section of the original Wildnerness Trail used by ancient Native Americans, 17th Century trappers, traders and explorers as well as westward-bound pioneers to navigate the mountains via Cumberland Gap is left pretty much as it was for them, super neat, dark and full of old growth trees and boulders.

Indian Roc

Cumberland Gap Flowers

There is a campground as well.  We initially planned to camp here, but after a hot sweaty day of hiking, and previous hot nights camping, we wimped out and agreed to drive the 2 hours to Asheville and live it up for one last night in a hotel, with a guaranteed good veggie dinner.

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