“The Wilderness Road Trail follows the path that settlers took on their way across the Virginia mountains.”
— April French
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Cumberland Gap closes at dark. Check their website
for information about backcountry camping.
Finding your way onto the Wilderness Trail can be a little challenging, as this path isn't the main one you notice from the Thomas Walker parking area. You'll want to look closer to the road for the Thomas Walker Trail and follow that path a bit until it merges with the Wilderness Road Trail.
You'll wind through the forest as you ascend toward the Saddle of the Gap, passing a number of footbridges along the way. Before the trail merges with Object Lesson Road
, you'll see a pyramid rock structure dedicated by the Daughters of the American Revolution marking the turn.
Turn right and continue up toward the Saddle of the Gap. You'll also pass Harlan Trail, which runs off to your left. When you reach the Saddle of the Gap, the Tri-State Peak Trail
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. Thanks to better signage, you'll be able to more easily pick the proper path at each intersection.
Before reaching the Daniel Boone Visitor Center, you can take a short side trip to Iron Furnace using the Tennessee Road Trail. There's another newly-marked path leading off to Cudjo's Cave as well. You'll continue along the Wilderness Road Trail until it meets up with the Daniel Boone Trail
at the Daniel Boone Visitor Center.
You can make this a longer route by continuing onto the Daniel Boone Trail
before turning back.