• fog flows through Cumberland Gap

    Cumberland Gap

    National Historical Park KY,TN,VA

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Cumberland Gap Tip Line

    Help protect your national park! Report any crimes or suspicious activity including damage or theft of park resources. More »

  • 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 »

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?

Fire Pink, a bright red appalachian wildflower.

Although Cumberland Gap is designated a national historical park, 14,000 of its 24,000 acres have been proposed, and are managed, as wilderness.