The Wilderness Road that travels through the Cumberland Gap has seen hundreds of years of history and has been witness to tales of heartbreak and joy, loss and discovery. Visitors can discover these stories during the Friday, May 28th event, “Within the Shadows of Cumberland Gap Heritage Walk,” to begin at the Daniel Boone parking area in Virginia at 6:30 p.m.
During the 1.5 mile long walk through the Gap, visitors will meet several “ghosts” from the road’s past. They will hear the tales of a Cherokee warrior and a long-hunter from 1700 and 1780. Mary Cloud Turner, wife of Revolutionary War soldier John Turner, will be there, sharing her experiences as a resident along the Road in the early 1800s. Meet Matilda, a slave from Newlee’s Iron Furnace down in the town of Cumberland Gap, who is looking for an escape route along the Road in the 1850s. Soon after Matilda fades away, encounter Confederate soldiers of the Civil War during their occupation of the Gap in 1861. Jump forward in time again to the 1920s and meet an English gentleman and his roadster, out for a ride on the newly paved Dixie Highway. Finish your tour with a park ranger, not from 2010 but from 1960, as he welcomes all to this brand-new gem of the National Park Service.
The 1.5 mile walk through the Gap along the Wilderness Road is moderate with one uphill section and some loose gravel. Visitors should wear sturdy walking shoes. A shuttle will be provided to take visitors back to the Daniel Boone parking area after the event, which is expected to last approximately two hours.
For more general information on hiking at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, please click here.
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