Due to bridge work in the park, please be alert to lane changes and changing traffic patterns. 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
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?
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.