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Fort Boonesborough Tour

clickable map of Fort Boonesborough

Click on a label in the image or a link below to visit that site.

Daniel Boone’s Expedition

In 1775, Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company hired explorer Daniel Boone to establish a settlement in the Kentucky territory. Along the way, he and his men were to widen the Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Gap, an ancient game trail used by Native American hunters, to open it to horse travel.

The route took Boone from the Long Island of the Holston at present-day Kingsport, Tennessee to what is now Madison County, Kentucky. There, on the banks of the Kentucky River, Boone set up his outpost, named Boonesborough in his honor.

Henderson’s plans to make Boonesborough the capital of a Transylvania colony were derailed when the Virginia legislature ruled that he did not have legal title to the land. So the town never grew very large. But as the Wilderness Road was widened again to accommodate wagons, more and more people followed Boone’s route into Kentucky, making Boonesborough an important stop for trade and temporary shelter.

The current fort at Fort Boonesborough State Park is a reconstruction. It is situated on a high hill a short hike from the original fort site.