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Wilderness Road - Cumberland Gap - Kentucky/Virginia/Tennessee
featured waymark
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member onfire4jesus
N 36° 36.244 W 083° 40.410
17S E 260869 N 4054279
Quick Description: Cumberland Gap is one of the most famous gaps in all of the United States. The Native Americans followed the game trails over the gap for many centuries and the Europeans followed the Native American Trails.
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 5/26/2008 8:06:09 PM
Waymark Code: WM3WNY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member kbarhow
Views: 195

Long Description:
For hundreds of years before Europeans came to North America, Native Americans followed game trails across this gap. They called it Athiamiowee or "Path of the Armed Ones".

In 1673, Gabriel Arthur was probably the first European to cross the gap when he was taken by a band of Cherokees throughout the region.

It wasn't until 1750, however, before Europeans started making regular trips across the gap. Dr. Thomas Walker led a famous exploration of the area. He named the Cumberland River after Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. The name stuck to the region and soon the gap was known as the Cumberland Gap.

In 1775, Daniel Boone was hired by the Transylvania Company and he led a group of men to improve the trails across the gap so that wagons could traverse them. It is estimated that some quarter million settlers passed over the gap before 1810.

During the U.S. Civil War, the gap was contested territory and passed back and forth between the Union and the Confederacy. Some of the earthworks still exist on the mountains that tower over the gap.

In the 20th century roads were built over the gap, but in 1996, the Cumberland Gap Tunnel was built underneath it and the roads were removed and the trails restored.

Cumberland Gap is inside the Cumberland Gap National Park and over a million people visit the park each year.
Feature Discription: Cumberland Gap - I chose it mainly because I was traveling through the area and stopped at the National Park. I wasn't aware it was an ancient trace until I read one of the signs along the trail (photo included)

Web address for the route: [Web Link]

Secondary Web Address: [Web Link]

Beginning of the road: Block House, Virginia

End of the road: Boonesborough, KY

Visit Instructions:
We ask that if you visit the site, please include a unique picture with your impressions of the location. If possible, and if you are not too shy, please include yourself and your group in the photo. Extra points will be given for your best buffalo imitation or if you are licking something salty.
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