Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Facts

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Facts
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a 24,000 acre park located in the U.S., on the borders of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. The park is named after Cumberland Gap - a narrow, natural break in the Cumberland Mountains which are part of the Appalachian Mountains. For a long time the Cumberland Gap itself was used by Native Americans as hunting grounds because it served as a migration route. When settlers began to use the gap in the 1700s it became a major historical route for the interior settlement of the country. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established in 1940, and today has more than 200,000 visitors each year.
Interesting Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Facts:
Cumberland Gap was used by buffalo and wild deer as a migratory route between winter and summer grounds.
It is estimated that between 1775 and 1810 there may have been as many as 300,000 settlers that used Cumberland Gap to move west.
Hensley Settlement is a historical mountain community located in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. It was settled in the early 1900s by two families that wished to escape the changes occurring in the U.S. In 1951, the settlement's founder Sherman Hensley was the last person to leave.
There is a cave in the park called Gap Cave that was once used by settlers and Native Americans for shelter.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park has more than 80 miles of trails for visitors to hike. Some are as short as a quarter mile and some are as long as 21 miles (Ridge Trail).
Visitors to the park can enjoy back country camping if they obtain permits.
Wildlife that can be seen in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park includes black bears, bobcats, foxes, beavers, white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels, a variety of bat species, elk, and striped skunks.
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is home to 178 insect species, 27 fish species, 29 amphibian species, 15 reptile species, 33 mammal species and at least 89 bird species, although some estimates are high as 150 bird species.
Bird species in the park include wild turkeys, vultures, song birds, and hawks.
There are 59 state-listed species of rare plants in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, and the trees are mostly a mix of conifer and eastern hardwood.
There are at least 24 entrances to the limestone caves within the park, and the most famous entrance is Gap Cave.
Land formations and features that can be found within the park include mountains, waterfalls, overlooks, caves, rock formations, forests, and numerous trails to explore.
Visitors to the park can travel on horseback to tour the wilderness. Some campsites have accommodations for horses.
Natural attractions in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park include White Rocks, Devils Garden, the Pinnacle, and Sand Cave.
Cumberland Gap was an important spot during the Civil War, with the Confederate and Union armies fighting to maintain control.
The Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap was marked by Daniel Boone in 1775, when he and his party that were working for the Transylvania Company were establishing a travel route.


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