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Cumberland Gap National Historical Park


Between 1775 and 1810 some 300,000 settlers crossed through the Cumberland Gap, a prominent V-shaped indentation in the Cumberland Mountains, located about a quarter-mile north of where Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee meet. Back then, however, Kentucky was a wilderness that beckoned those who dreamed of finding new lands and new prosperity. Native Americans had used Cumberland Gap as a gateway through the mountains long before the arrival of the European settlers, and so the stage was set for both exploration and conflict. Today, this largest historical park managed by the National Park Service offers both historic and natural attractions. Learn about the settlement of the Kentucky frontier and Civil War history, explore caves and hiking trails, and take in the breathtaking scenery of three states.

Closeup: Doorway to Historythe Classroom: Mapmaking and More

Cumberland Gap Web site.