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“One of our favourite places!”

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Contains the original trail marked out by Daniel Boone in 1775.
Reviewed 9 November 2010

The Wilderness Road Campground in the Cumberland Gap National Park is one of our favourite places to stay on our way down to the southern US. The 1st time we stayed was in March 2009, & most recently, we spent a week at the end of Oct 2010. Fall is a gorgeous time to visit this park.

Most of the sites are really spacious with actual forest in between them so there's some privacy. The price is right, only $17/night for a site with electricity (there are 41). None have water or sewer hook ups but you can fill up with drinking water when you get there. There's also a dump station right by the park entrance. The sites with electric are paved, & there are quite a few that can handle a bigger trailer like ours (38 ft). You can't reserve sites, they are first come first serve so if you go during busy seasons and if you're flexible on check in dates, go on Sunday or during the week, you'll have more sites to choose from. Electric sites on the weekends seem to fill up quickly but there always seem to be lots of non-electric sites (there are 119) available if you have a generator or no need for juice.

The restrooms are very clean & comfortable. As previous reviewers have said, the showers have lots of hot water, are huge (they're designed to accommodate someone in a wheelchair) & are heated. Something good to look forward to when returning from a hike in cold weather.

We came back because we really enjoy the hiking here. There are lots of trails that you can do, right from the campground, no driving required. The hike to the Pinnacle overlook (2440 ft elevation) where you'll see amazing views of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia is a must do but it's strenuous. The first part takes you by the Skylight Cave (worth checking out), but it's a hard walk up to the ridge.

Highly recommend going to the ranger station to get advice about the trails based on your ability, they're very helpful. But, if you're in shape and want a challenge, make sure you do the White Rocks and Sand Cave hike, the cave is quite unique and something to see. The trail head is in Ewing, VA just a short drive (20 mins) from the campground. Another good one is the Chadwell Gap 2.9 mile hike up to the ridge. A new public trailhead was recently opened for it and it's only a 10 min drive away.

One other thing, Middlesboro, KY, the closest big town to the park is in a DRY county. No alcohol to be bought in any store or served in any restaurant. But, just a mile east from the park on highway 58 is a BP station with beer and wine and right behind it, is a place called PAPPY's that has a much bigger selection of beer and wine for decent prices.

5  Thank trailernomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 July 2010

A few friends and myself just came back from staying at Cumberland Gap National Park. To begin with let me say that the campsites that you have to choose from are wonderful. We chose a site that was well shaded and large enough for an 8 person tent and a 4 person tent. Each site came with a fire pit that had a small grill top and a table that was nailed down to the ground (so no rearranging allowed). The bathrooms were on the small side. Only offering 2 bath stalls but they are heated. The shower rooms are across from the bathrooms and there are only 2 large shower areas. Shower rooms are large enough for couples. Inlcudes a bench on one side, a small trash can, and a bench to sit on across from the shower head. Shower head also includes a shower handle that is detachable if needed. Shower rooms are heated as well. So the only down side for me was that there were only 2 bathroom stalls and 2 shower rooms but I never had to wait to use either. Our group did sign up in advance for the Gap Cave tour which if you plan on doing go ahead and get you name on the list because if fills up fast. Its only 8 per person. We started the tour with a .5 mile hike up to the cave. This was not to bad but no one in our group was in shape lol. The rangers that took us up to the cave were super nice and very informative. Once we entered the cave we turned on our flash lights (that were provided) and began the .5 mile tour inside. There are some places that are fairly low and some that are not very wide. I did have a person in my group who was not a big fan of small spaces but she made it through the tour just fine. The tour covers four stories. There are stairs within the cave. Some are metal stairs and others are stairs made from the cave. I personally was not a fan of the stairs made from the cave. They were very steep and narrow. This tour was no walk in the park. A total of 187 steps with most of the cave tour walking up hill so to speak. The whole tour last in the cave for about an hour. Once you exit the cave you then have a .5 mile hike thats all down hill to where you began. I would definately recommend this to anyone who enjoys touring caverns. It was great experience and even though I did get a little out of breath at times it was well worth it. Remember to wear good hiking shoes and to take a long sleeve shirt. It stays cool in the cave at 58 degrees (i believe dont quote me). There were many other things I would have liked to do while on our trip but we had only planned for a weekend. So please plan ahead if possible and take in as much as you can!

2  Thank Mel_Countryman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2010

We went in the beginning of April for spring break. We camped at the campgrounds which are through the tunnel and about 5 minutes up the road in Virginia. The campground was great and the bathrooms were heated. The showers were one room to yourself with a shower bench and hand held shower head if you needed it. Loved the shower! The park has security at night and they were friendly. We went on the wilderness trail which has a great suprise on a hot day. We seen a deer on one of the trails. Pinnacle Peak is very steep and the hike would have been a killer as it was my van was moaning a groaning during the steep drive up. The village bus ride was not running yet and after pinnacle peak I knew I couldn't make the 3 1/2 mile rugged hike there plus back. There is so much to do here. We went to a Pizza place called the Oasis about 12 minutes from us by Lincoln Memorial University. The pizza was very good and 5 of us ate for 16.00 including drinks. We had to watch the Championship Basketball Game somewhere. There is also a wonderful park by the University that is worth visiting. The town of Middlesboro is clean and nice. Pineville State Park is great and Cumberland Falls was nice.

1  Thank acm32068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2009

Stay at the lodge and ride the horses! This place is beautiful, but we got stuck in a rain storm that prevented us from enjoying all that it had to offer. The gap is pretty deep in the park, so it's best to stay at the lodge. We stayed in a nearby city and it took quite a while to get to the gap.

2  Thank smeeesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2009

Decided to take a road trip early August 2009 and this was one of my stops along the way. Found this "Gap Cave" while doing some research about the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and I'm glad I did.

Booked the Cave Tour about 3 weeks ahead of time (they held 4 spots for my family and I, ages 25-58 - no credit card needed). I called the same day we had a tour to make sure it was still going (there was poor weather, thunderstorms in the area). Luckily the rain held off and we were on our way.

About 15 people met at the Daniel Boone Parking Area. Here, each person received their own flashlight that you can hook around yourself. You will need this since there are no lights inside the cave. What a great experience this was.

3 Rangers brought us on our tour. 2 of them spoke (half and half) while 1 stayed in the back for safety reasons. Many stories were told about the area and the history of the cave. To begin there is about a half mile walk on an easy trail to the entrance of the cave. Spent a good hour and a half inside on about 3 levels. Amazing formations along the way, some tight spaces (you'll have to duck, some clearances are about 4 feet high), but it's well worth it. "Cleopatra's Pool" was a really nice sight. There are plenty of steps inside for the steep parts and the path does look slippery, but it's not. This tour is not for everyone though because it can be a little tiresome for people completely out of shape.

After you live the cave, you have to walk a 1/2 mile back to the parking area. You are high up so the trip down is steep but mostly paved. Make sure you go to the bathroom before you leave for the tour (tours last approx. 2 hours).

The price was excellent - only $8 a person. Well worth it. An excellent "must-see/do" attraction if you are in the area. The tour I went on were all adults, no children. I'm sure children will love it also, but at times might get a little scared (when its completely dark and the rangers ask us to turn our lights off).

10  Thank KingCobra7003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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