backcountry hikers
Hikers enjoy the backcountry

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Backcountry Camping
Five backcountry campsites are located in the park and require a backcountry use permit, which must be picked up in person at the visitor center. Backcountry permits are free of charge.

Backcountry campsites can be reserved up to three months in advance by calling the park visitor center at (606)248-2817.

Camping - Group Sites
$35.00 - Day

Group camping is available with reservations.

Group campsites can be reserved up to three months in advance by calling (606)248-2817.


Special Use Permits
Special Use Permits are required by the National Park Service to assure that parks remain unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. Any activities that would cause damage to park resources cannot be allowed.

Providing opportunities for appropriate public enjoyment is an important part of the National Park Service mission. Approval of special uses of the park—unrelated to public enjoyment—may be allowed if not otherwise prohibited by law or regulation. However, the National Park Service can only allow uses that are:
(1) appropriate to the purpose for which the park was established, and
(2) can be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts.

A special park use is defined as an activity that takes place in a park area, and that:

  • provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large;
  • requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest;
  • is not prohibited by law or regulation;
  • is not initiated, sponsored, or conducted by the National Park Service; and
  • is not managed under a concession contract, a recreation activity for which the NPS charges a fee, or a lease.

Special Use Permit Application (180 KB)
Follow the directions found in the form then mail the completed form to:

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Park Headquarters
91 Bartlett Park Road
Middlesboro, KY 40965

Forms will only be accepted via U.S. Mail. Forms that have been faxed or e-mailed will not be accepted for consideration.

A non-refundable application fee is required:

$50.00 for filming and $25.00 for all other activities.

Additional administrative, location and/or cost recovery fees may also be charged.

Film Permits are provided on an individual basis. On May 15, 2006 the National Park Service established procedures and guidelines for the issuing of commercial film and still photography permits in units of the National Park Service. For commercial filming as defined by those guidelines, there is a permit fee.

For more information please call (606) 248-2817.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

91 Bartlett Park Road
Middlesboro, KY 40965


(606) 248-2817

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