• fog flows through Cumberland Gap

    Cumberland Gap

    National Historical Park KY,TN,VA

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  • 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.

  • Shuttle to Hensley Settlement

    There will be no shuttle or tour to Hensley Settlement on August 10, 2014. Tours on other days will continue to be offered as scheduled. For questions and more information please call the park visitor center at (606) 248-2817, extension 1075.

  • 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.

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Cinnamon ferns in lush forest

Cinnamon ferns in lush, green forest

NPS Photo

The natural resources of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park are rich and diverse. However, they have been altered during the past two centuries by logging operations, highway construction, Civil War activities, agricultural practices, visitors, development in the adjacent area, fire, and chestnut blight.

East of the gap lies 15,470 acres of roadless area extending 15 miles along Cumberland and Brush Mountains. The Kentucky-Virginia State line is the sheer ridge of the Cumberland Mountain. Both Cumberland and Brush Mountains are exceedingly steep and rugged, forming high cliffs in many areas.

The park contains more than 80 miles of foot and horse trails and five backcountry camping areas. Exotic species occur throughout the previously and presently developed areas of the park. Kudzu, privet, and Japanese honeysuckle are surpassing native species in disturbed sites. Several other exotic grasses, shrubs, and trees are found in the park.

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.