684,191 visitors to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in 2018

Published 2:29 pm Friday, March 15, 2019

Intriguing chapters found in America’s early history, spectacular vistas, and a captivating medley of programs all contributed to 684,191 visitors from throughout the world discovering and exploring Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in 2018. As a whole, national park units across the country exceeded 300 million recreation visits for the fourth consecutive year.

In 2018, a unique mix of activities focused on “Cumberland Gap – A Legendary Land” and opened visitors’ eyes to the land, how it shapes the nature it nurtures, how it shapes us, and how we shape the land. Programs reached their crescendo during the Labor Day Weekend, when CaveSim, the only artificial cave built in a trailer, allowed young and old alike to sandwich themselves between and perform twister like gyrations amongst artificial cave formations and cave creatures.

Programs in 2019 will illuminate “An Iron Will” with two major events celebrating ancestors who changed history with their indomitable spirit. The 250th anniversary of Daniel Boone’s 1769 travels, his first, through the mountain passage will be observed Sept. 14 and 15.

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Planning is already well underway by park staff in conjunction with Virginia’s Wilderness Road State Park and will include re-enactors who will be walking the trail in the footsteps of the legendary frontiersman. The park is also crafting an October celebration for the 200th anniversary of the historic Newlee Iron Furnace.

From the early 1820s to the 1880s, this iron smelting business took advantage of the rushing waters of Gap Creek which originate in Gap Cave, also located in the national park. This celebration will coincide with the Genealogy Jamboree, being hosted by and in the town of Cumberland Gap, Tenn.

”Visitation to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and all national park units continues to affirm that Americans and international visitors are in love with America’s public lands and hold dear the stories of our nation embodied in the natural, cultural, and historic landscapes protected in the National Park System,” shares Acting Park Superintendent Diane Griffin.

For additional information on park programs, visitors can call 606-246-1075 or request via cuga_interpretation@nps.gov.