Cumberland Gap

A vacation on Norris Lake offers many favorite activities including fishing, water skiing, relaxing in your vacation cabin rental, and a short day trip to the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Plan your vacation around this favorite park as well and Norris Lake, and staying in one of our vacation cabins is an excellent way to have great fun.

 

A vacation on Norris Lake offers many favorite activities including fishing, water skiing, relaxing in your vacation cabin rental, and a short day trip to the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Plan your vacation around this favorite park as well and Norris Lake, and a staying in one of our vacation cabins is an excellent way to have great fun. 
The Cumberland Gap is a mountain pass through the Cumberland Mountains where Tennessee meets up with Kentucky and Virginia. The Cumberland Gap was a strategic passage way in colonial America and previously used by native Americans as a wilderness passage and today, is now part of the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.
Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
This national park covers over 20,000 acres in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The park offers plenty of outdoor fun for families and outdoor enthusiasts. The park is full of history with Civil War fortifications, ruins of an old iron furnace and hand-hewn cabins. The park is perfect for watching wildlife, sightseeing, backpacking,hiking, camping, and picnicking.
Cumberland Gap Visitor Center
The Cumberland Gap Visitor Center is located at the entrance of the park and visitors are encouraged to stop by for an orientation prior to entering the park. The center offers maps of the trails, books, interactive exhibits, Cumberland Crafts, and two high definition films about the heritage and history of the park. The films are very informative and discuss the migration of the early pioneers and settlers. The Visitor Center is open 8-5 daily and offers guided tours of the Henley Settlement and shuttle buses to the Pinnacle Overlook.
Hiking Trails in the Appalachian Mountains
There are nearly 85 miles of hiking trails for any skill level located in the park. The trails range from ¼ of a mile to 21 miles. Hiking the Appalachian Mountains is a great way to visit the Henley Settlement, White Rocks, Skylight Cave, and Sand Cave. Many of the destinations can only be seen by hiking. The trails are pet friendly, so your dogs are welcome to join in the fun! Guided hikes are also available in the park by Rangers. Henley Settlement allows visitors to step into the past and see the restored community of chestnut-hewn cabins and view the historic buildings from 1904. Sand Cave is a popular destination with its 75 foot high sandstone overhang with beautiful colors of sand on the floor and ceiling. The sand on the floor is dry and in the Spring a small waterfall flows making an echo throughout the cave. Sand Cave and White Rocks can be visited in the same day for strenuous hikers. White Rocks Cliffs offer magnificent views and once served as a landmark for early settlers traveling to the Cumberland Gap.
The Pinnacle Overlook
The Pinnacle Overlook is the most visited location in the park. The overlook is at an elevation of 2,440 feet so you can see the breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains and stand on three state lines at the same time! The windy road to the overlook is about 4 miles long and leads to the top of the mountain. The drive to the parking area is a great time to view wildlife and take pictures of the spectacular views. The path to the overlook from the parking area is relatively flat and paved making it handicap accessible.There are nearly 85 miles of hiking trails for any skill level located in the park. The trails range from ¼ of a mile to 21 miles. Hiking the Appalachian Mountains is a great way to visit the Henley Settlement, White Rocks, Skylight Cave, and Sand Cave. Many of the destinations can only be seen by hiking. The trails are pet friendly, so your dogs are welcome to join in the fun! Guided hikes are also available in the park by Rangers. Henley Settlement allows visitors to step into the past and see the restored community of chestnut-hewn cabins and view the historic buildings from 1904. Sand Cave is a popular destination with its 75 foot high sandstone overhang with beautiful colors of sand on the floor and ceiling. The sand on the floor is dry and in the Spring a small waterfall flows making an echo throughout the cave. Sand Cave and White Rocks can be visited in the same day for strenuous hikers. White Rocks Cliffs offer magnificent views and once served as a landmark for early settlers traveling to the Cumberland Gap.
The Gap Cave
The Gap Cave, formally known as Cudjo’s Cavern, is a cave visited by many and is ranger guided. There is no electricity inside the cave so flashlights are used during the tour. The moderately strenuous 1.5 mile tour can last up to two hours. The underground cathedral is a perfect place to view stalagmites, flowstone cascades, and you may even see a bat or two! Cleopatra’s Pool and the “Talking Stalactite” can only be witnessed inside the cave. The tour focuses on safety, so hiking footwear is required and children under five are not allowed to visit. Reservations are recommended for a guided tour and can be made by contacting the visitor center. Picnicking at the park is a great way to have family bonding. Many of the picnic areas are shaded and supplied with charcoal grills and some are handicap accessible. All you need to bring is food, charcoal, and drinks. One of the picnic areas has a creek near the picnic tables so bring extra dry clothes for the children to wade and get their toes wet!There are nearly 85 miles of hiking trails for any skill level located in the park. The trails range from ¼ of a mile to 21 miles. Hiking the Appalachian Mountains is a great way to visit the Henley Settlement, White Rocks, Skylight Cave, and Sand Cave. Many of the destinations can only be seen by hiking. The trails are pet friendly, so your dogs are welcome to join in the fun! Guided hikes are also available in the park by Rangers. Henley Settlement allows visitors to step into the past and see the restored community of chestnut-hewn cabins and view the historic buildings from 1904. Sand Cave is a popular destination with its 75 foot high sandstone overhang with beautiful colors of sand on the floor and ceiling. The sand on the floor is dry and in the Spring a small waterfall flows making an echo throughout the cave. Sand Cave and White Rocks can be visited in the same day for strenuous hikers. White Rocks Cliffs offer magnificent views and once served as a landmark for early settlers traveling to the Cumberland Gap.