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greenBlue Cumberland Gap Out-and-Back

  3.5 ( 2 ) Favorite


6.0 mile 9.7 kilometer out and back
93% Runnable


Ascent: 693' 211 m
Descent: -693' -211 m
High: 1,635' 498 m
Low: 1,275' 389 m


Avg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)


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Trail shared by April French

This run heads over the Gap, across the Daniel Boone Trail, and back.

April French

Features Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Cumberland Gap closes at dark. Check their website for information about backcountry camping.


Follow the path settlers took as they crossed the famous Cumberland Gap through the Appalachian Mountains. This featured run includes the Object Lesson Road, Wilderness Road Trail, and Daniel Boone Trail.


Start in the Thomas Walker parking area and follow the Object Lesson Road up to the Saddle of The Gap. The former road through the Gap has been restored to its 1907 appearance, so you may see some gravel underneath in places. As you climb up to the Gap, the Wilderness Road Trail will join about three-fourths of the way.

On your right, just a bit back from the Wilderness Road Trail, you'll see a pyramid rock structure dedicated by the Daughers of the American Revolution marking a turn onto the Wilderness Road Trail. Take this branch, and the Saddle of the Gap is a little further. You'll also pass Harlan Trail, which runs off to your left.

When you reach the Saddle of the Gap, keep an eye out for the Tri-State Peak Trail, which breaks off to the right. It's a short out-and-back to see the plaque marking where the states of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee meet. You'll continue along the Wilderness Road Trail until it meets up with the Daniel Boone Trail. You'll enjoy the small bridge over a local creek, whose fast, flowing water forms a small waterfall and has been used to power mill wheels.

From the end of the Daniel Boone Trail, retrace your steps back to the Thomas Walker parking area.

History & Background

Object Lesson Road was a trail developed from Old Highway 25 through the Gap. The whole area is full of Civil War and Wilderness historical points of interest. The park itself has added signage showing its historical significance.

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Aug 9, 2018
Tyler Youngman

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes


  3.5 from 2 votes
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