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.