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, and White Rocks.

Last updated: October 21, 2020

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Mailing Address:

91 Bartlett Park Road
Middlesboro , KY 40965


606 248-2817

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