Volunteer - Be Part of a Dedicated Team!

NPS Volunteer round logo with arrowhead graphic in the center

The Volunteers-in-Parks Program

Enacted in 1970, the Volunteers-in-Parks Act officialized the mutually beneficial relationship between national parks and volunteers. Ever since, these Volunteers-in-Parks (VIPs) have donated their time, energy, knowledge, and unique skillsets to the support and improvement National Park Service (NPS) sites across the country.

Whether working ‘behind the scenes’ or in the public eye, VIPs dedicate themselves to protecting park resources, educating the public, improving local communities, and enhancing the visitor experience.

Read on to discover some of the ways you can get involved at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the "first great gateway to the west!"

back view of a man and woman wearing NPS volunteer shirts hiking up a paved pathway into the woods
Two Cave Tour Assistants (CTAs) hike toward Gap Cave to unlock the entrance gate ahead of a ranger-led tour group.

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Gap Cave Tour Assistant (April-September)

Help out with ranger-guided tours of Gap Cave!

Hensley Tour Guide (May-October)

Lead visitors on walking tours through the historic Hensley Settlement.



Seven volunteers pose in front of a garden bed with piles of weeds they have pulled
Members of the Harrogate Garden Club pose alongside park staff and volunteers after weeding the visitor center garden beds during a National Garden Week event.

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Help manage and improve the native wildflower beds at the visitor center and remove invasive plant species.

Visitor Services Assistant

Support all aspects of visitor center operations and work alongside park staff to assist visitors from behind the front desk.

Photography & Media Volunteer

Use your photography, videography, and media skills to provide professional-looking content for the park's digital archives.
ground-level view of a person using trash grabbers to pick up a plastic water bottle
Trail Stewards enhance natural spaces in the park by picking up and properly disposing of litter, which improves both the visitor experience and the health of the local ecosystem.

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Trail Steward

Pick up litter you find along trails and in other areas of the park, and communicate any issues (i.e. fallen branches, hazardous trees, or damaged signage) to park staff.

Adopt-A-Trail Volunteer

"Adopt" your own section of trail and perform routine maintenance on it using tools and techniques provided by the park.

Backcountry Horseman

Saddle up your horse or mule, ride designated equestrian trails throughout the park, and report any sections needing attention to maintenance staff.
Male historical reenactor dressed in Union Soldier uniform kneeling in front of a campfire
A Living History Volunteer dressed as a Union Army soldier tends to a campfire during a Civil War reenactment outside the visitor center.

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Living History Volunteer

Bring Appalachian history to life through portrayal of 18th- and 19th-century dress, crafts, and special skills.

Roving Interpreter

Travel on foot through popular areas of the park while handing out maps, interpreting park resources, answering questions, and encouraging visitors to recreate responsibly.

Campground Host

Serve as an ambassador to Wilderness Road Campground while staying on-site in the Camp Host RV pad.*

*The availability of the Campground Host position and associated RV pad are subject to change depending on campground needs and current fill status.
red and blue handprint graphic logo of the Volunteer.gov website
Discover opportunities, sign up for events, and keep track of your service hours through the Volunteer.gov website.

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How to Get Involved...

Interested in volunteering at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park? Be sure to visit our official Volunteer.gov page!

Volunteer.gov is the official volunteer recruitment tool used by the National Parl Service and several other federal agencies. It's your primary destination for exploring opportunities, applying for positions, tracking hours, and more!

If you'd prefer to apply in-person, simply stop by the visitor center at 91 Bartlett Park Road in Middlesboro and request a volunteer application at the front desk.

Questions? Call the visitor center at (606) 248-2817 anytime between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Thank you for your interest in joining our park's dedicated team of volunteers.

We look forward to working with you!

Image of a volunteer Federal Lands access pass
A volunteer with 250+ documented hours of service on public lands is eligible for an America the Beautiful access pass, granting fee-free entry to participating federal recreational lands for a whole year!

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Last updated: January 16, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

91 Bartlett Park Road
Middlesboro, KY 40965


606 248-2817

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