• fog flows through Cumberland Gap

    Cumberland Gap

    National Historical Park KY,TN,VA

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  • No Cave Tours or Hensley Tours on September 27

    There will be no Gap Cave or Hensley Settlement tours offered on September 27, 2014 due to special Heritage Walk program. For more information please call the park visitor center at (606) 248-2817, extension 1075.

  • Sugar Run Trail Closed to Horses

    The Sugar Run Trail is temporarily closed to horse use due to the number of fallen trees as a result of recent storms. The trail is still open for hikers, but hikers should use caution.

  • Back the Bears!

    Support the park's "Back the Bears" campaign and help keep our bears wild and safe! More »

  • Cave Tour Alert!

    White Nose Syndrome is a disease that is killing bats in great numbers and has been found in park caves. While visiting Gap Cave please do not wear or bring anything that has been in other caves. Skylight Cave is currently closed.

Warriors' Path

Living historian portraying a Cherokee Indian

For centuries, the Cherokee and the Shawnee traveled through the Cumberland Gap along a game trail known by the Shawnee as Athiamiowee. Although neither tribe lived in Kentucky, both would travel the path in and out of Kentucky which was used as a hunting ground. Bitter enemies, these two tribes regularly attacked one another.

In the 1750's english speakers began referring to the trail as the Warrior's Path. As early settlers and pioneers began to explore Kentucky and beyond, many were killed in confrontations with the indians.

 
war path

The Warrior's Path was a game trail that was used by both the Shawnee to the north, and the Cherokee to the south. This trail was used for centuries by both tribes and by wildlife in the region. As pioneers began to come through Cumberland Gap in the late 1700's the trail became part of what was known as the Wilderness Road.

Did You Know?

Kentucky’s Historian Laureate, Dr. Thomas Clark

Kentucky’s Historian Laureate, Dr. Thomas Clark, listed Cumberland Gap as #1 in his list of 11 sites that every Kentuckian should visit. (Dr. Clark passed away on July 28th, 2005… just two weeks short of his 102nd birthday!)