• fog flows through Cumberland Gap

    Cumberland Gap

    National Historical Park KY,TN,VA

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  • 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.

  • Cumberland Gap Tip Line

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Nature & Science

View from the Pinnacle Overlook

View of mountains from the Pinnacle Overlook

NPS Photo

Carved by wind and water, Cumberland Gap forms a major break in the Appalachian Mountain chain.

Stretching for 26 miles along Cumberland Mountain and ranging from 1 to 4 miles in width, the park contains 24,000 acres of which 14,000 acres is proposed wilderness. The natural beauty of Appalachian mountain country, lush with vegetation, supports diverse animal life including: white-tailed deer, black bear, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, gray squirrel, fox, and wild turkey.

Park resources provide habitat for the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, and the threatened blackside dace, Phoxinus cumberlandensis. There are 59 state-listed rare plant species.

 
forest scene

Secondary growth deciduous forest

NPS Photo


The majority of the forest is second and third growth Eastern hardwood and conifer mix, the result of timbering and farming over a 175 year period.

 
Skylight Cave, view looking out

Skylight Cave

Photo by Chuck Summers

There are 24 known entries to limestone caves, the best known of which is Gap Cave. Other significant natural features include: the Pinnacle, Sand Cave, Devils Garden, and White Rocks.

Did You Know?

Gap Cave

Gap Cave has also been called: King Solomon's Cave, Soldier's Cave, and Cudjo's Cave! The cave was originally referred to as "Gap Cave" because of its proximity to the Gap. When early pioneers saw the cave they knew they were about to cross the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky.