Walk in the footsteps of Daniel Boone at Cumberland Gap

Walk in the footsteps of Daniel Boone at Cumberland Gap

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Cumberland Gap National Historic Park was once known as the first great gateway to the West for the pioneers. Cumberland Gap National Historic Park was once known as the first great gateway to the West for the pioneers.
With over 85 miles of trails and camping, you are bound to have a few favorite spots on your trip. With over 85 miles of trails and camping, you are bound to have a few favorite spots on your trip.
Lincoln Memorial University's Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum features photos and other items from the president. Lincoln Memorial University's Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum features photos and other items from the president.

By TEARSA SMITH
6 News Anchor/Reporter

HARROGATE (WATE) - If you are looking for a trip that will bring you one with nature and history we have a One Tank Trip to Cumberland Gap that will satisfy your entire family.

Our first stop takes us into Claiborne County with a scenic drive onto the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate.

Right away, you will see the beauty the area has to offer. Start your trip off with lunch on the campus' strolling lawn. Then take a walk over to the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum located right off the parkway.     

"We are very heavy on commemorative art. Some of the statuary and paintings, lithographs and etching of those sorts," says Tom Mackie, the director of the museum. "Each age reinterprets Lincoln. Each age tries to find him. They use him as the poster child of the American patriot." 

The two-story building is also home to the cane Lincoln carried the night he was assassinated.

If the great outdoors is more your calling, a short drive from campus into Middlesboro, Kentucky takes you to Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. It was once known as the first great gateway to the West for the pioneers.

Views like those atop the Pinnacle Observation Deck, 2,400 feet high, take you back to what men like Daniel Boone saw in their day. With over 85 miles of trails and camping, you are bound to have a few favorite spots on your trip.

The National Park Service website says, "Early native Americans traveled through Cumberland Gap along a trail known as the Warrior's Path. Pioneers and settlers walked along the Wilderness Road through the gap in a nation's quest to move westward. Civil War soldiers from both sides vied for control of the historic gap."

"It's hard to choose, Tearsa, because we have something for everybody. We've got history, we've got nature, we've got underground caves and above ground beautiful sites from the top of the mountain. There's just so much," says Park Ranger Pamela Eddy.

The visitor's center is more than just a place to stop for a snack - it's complete with a museum, media area and a craft shop called Cumberland Crafts. The shop sells all handmade regional items like jewelry and crafts.

"We also have two wonderful films. One about Daniel Boone and the pioneers and one that gives you a good orientation to the park," says Eddy.

The visitor center is open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but closes on Christmas Day.

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