Relatively short drive (less than 100 miles) with a short detour to Knoxville Sam’s Club for gas. Scenic federal and state highways with light traffic.
Plate says ‘Dr D’
Part of road north.
Parked in national park campground. Secluded, quiet, well maintained, not crowded, two loops with electricity, and senior pass gets us half off. Very nice.
Off to the visitor center to get educated and directions. Given our time frame two spots stood out. Pinnacle Overlook viewpoint and a hike to the Saddle of the Gap.
From the visitor center a drive up (and up and up) a twisty road and then a short walk to Pinnacle Overlook. Great view even though it was overcast. On a clear day you can see over a hundred miles. From overlook you look straight down on historic town of Cumberland Gap, TN. Directly below us we saw parking lot we had parked in half hour earlier while visiting remains of pioneer iron furnace.
Historic Cumberland Gap, TN. Iron furnace parking lot lower right corner with white and red vehicles.
Remains of iron furnace. This thing is huge and rocks of which it is built are massive. Quite a building marvel given technology of the time.
Across from overlook is Tri-State Peak. Junction of borders of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. Obviously then, one can see into three different states from the overlook. Between the overlook and the peak is the route of the historic Wilderness Road as it passes through and over the high point of the Cumberland Gap.
Tri-State Peak center foreground.
Tri-State Peak center left. Rift in front of it is actual Cumberland Gap along which runs the Wilderness Road.
Back down the twisty road to a large parking lot and then a half mile hike up to the Saddle of the Gap. High point on Wilderness Road and gateway to Kentucky for thousands of pioneers.
Pretty neat to stand there and imagine the stream of humanity struggling through the Gap. The term ‘Road’ was a misnomer. This was a trail and a difficult one but it was the only way through the Cumberland Mountains to the Promised Land of Kentucky.
This is called ‘Indian Rock’. Wilderness Road to left of it.
Walkway at an outlying visitor center that accesses the Wilderness Road trail. Depicts mass and variety of humanity and animals that traversed the ‘Road’
Now we are cozy in the Carbus listening to a gentle rain patter on the roof. Pretty cool.