Amusement Parks
National Parks
Route 66 Cities Beaches


CG Lodging



Cumberland Gap
Getting There
Ridge Trail
Hensley Settlement
Cudjo's Cave
Of course, we recommend camping. But if you're coming just to dayhike, or just to explore the other aspects of the park, you need a place to stay. And even we often like to begin and end a backpacking trip with a night in good lodging, where we can celebrate another successful trip with a fine meal and a hot shower. There is no National Park Lodge at Cumberland Gap. You could always stay along "the strip" in Middlesboro, but you'd be looking at the same strip you can see in every town in America. So we have three other recommendations. The first is a great Bed & Breakfast in the little town of Cumberland Gap. The second is a mountaintop lodge in Pine Mountain State Park, across the valley. And the third is a recently renovated Inn at the foot of the mountain. These are all very photogenic lodges and may provide you with as many great memories as the trails themselves. Just remember to phone early, because they fill up. Shown here are The Olde Mill in Cumberland Gap, Chain Rock in Pine Mountain State Park, and the actual Wilderness Road itself, the route Daniel Boone and thousands of settlers used to cross the mountain gap three centuries ago. They build a six lane highway tunnel underneath the national park just to preserve this road, which carries so much historical significance.
The Olde Mill is in the little village of Cumberland Gap, which is worth a day in itself. This town has seen as much history passing through as any place in America. First it saw 100 years of pioneers heading West. Then the Civil War raged around and through it for four years, with the North and South taking turns holding the village, the mountainsides around it, and the railroad and road running through it. The Olde Mill is a classic bed and breakfast updated for the 21st Century. All eight rooms have private baths, plush towels and robes, plasma TVs with cable, fireplaces and free wif-fi. Built in several stages in the 1700s, the log cabin and adjacent Inn together are the oldest buildings still standing in the area. They are an example of several kinds of construction techniques and architecture. The mill's massive grinding stones were imported from England. Several of the rooms feature windows looking out on the rotating mill wheel, so you go to sleep and wake up to the sounds of splashing water and cranking wheel. Or you can ask for a room with a window looking up at the Pinnacle.
Pine Mountain State Park is one of the most spectacular state parks in Kentucky or the nation. Pine Mountain Lodge sits just below the top of the mountain in heavy forest and with great views. The rooms are beautiful, and there are cabins a short distance away. The restaurant is excellent and its windows offer spectacular views. Make sure you get a window seat. Hiking trails lead directly out from the lodge in all directions. From many points in the park, where the tree cover allows, you can look across the valley at Cumberland Gap National Park. While you're here one thing you MUST do is hike and climb out to Chain Rock, seen in the photo top right. The people of the village of Pineville down in the valley saw the massive rock slipping on the mountain and feared it would come crashing down. So in 1932 at great effort and expense they attached a massive 101 foot long chain to the rock and fastened the other end to the bedrock from which it had separated. The spikes driven into the rock and the bedrock are each two feet long. It took two mule teams to haul the chain up the mountain on a road cleared especially for the task. Today, a century later, the chain still holds the rock in place. Pine Mountain Lodge is about 15 minutes drive from the Cumberland Gap Visitor Center. There is also a pool, miniature golf and on chilly November - April days a fine fireplace.
Cumberland Gap Inn is also in the village of Cumberland Gap, at the foot of the mountain looking up at The Pinnacle. This inn is famous for the service oriented staff. The front window of your room (seen in this photo) faces The Pinnacle (which would be behind us and way above us as we take this photo). At the back you have a private balcony or terrace looking out on the creek and surrounding woods. Just down the street is Webb's Kitchen, a local eatery everyone raves about. The Homemade Cobbler is the award winner, but the rest of the menu is great, too. And best of all for hikers and backpackers, Webb's stays open until 9 pm (rare in such small villages) so you can get in from a day's activity and have time to shower and change before dinner. Cudjo's Cave, The Old Iron Furnace and Wilderness Road itself are within hiking distance (or a drive of only a few minutes) of the Cumberland Gap Inn.
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