The great westward migration of people into the frontier of early United States started, in no small part, through Cumberland Gap. Located at the junction of present day Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, the mountain gap was well known by Native Americans, who followed the annual migrations of big game animals (like bison). When Daniel Boone blazed the Wilderness Road through the Gap it opened the continent’s interior for migration and settlement by early colonists.
The modern day village of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee sits at the eastern end of the Gap. This is a photo taken from the overlook, about 1400 feet above the town. Not long ago, an highway also ran through the Gap. In the late 1990’s, a tunnel was constructed to allow the road to by-pass this history area. The landscaping has since been restored to conditions similar to those found in the early 1800’s and the entire area is now part of Cumberland Gap National Park.