50 After 50: Cumberland Gap National Park

Our first look at the mountains where Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee meet was quite impressive. The waitress at Shades Cafe and Steakhouse recommended highly that we not miss it. Locals give the best advice. Expecting rain the next day, we thought this one dusk viewing could be our only chance.

However, the next morning the rain held off allowing us to explore the park on foot. Hiking the Object Lesson Road trail to Tri-State Peak, we ended the loop on Wilderness Road at the recommendation of a Visitor Center ranger. We not only stayed dry but saw some amazing history, beautiful green trees, and met two new friends.


A picnic at Pinnacle Point seemed the next great idea, as the sun continued to shine. It was a beautiful day to enjoy these mountains and see a storm of rain clouds in the distance.

With the threat of rain, we returned to the Visitor Center to watch two films: Daniel Boone and The Cumberland Gap.

Proceeding on to another recommended venture into the town of Cumberland Gap, we discovered the Gap Creek Coffeehouse.

Whistle Stop

We also met Ryan at Mitty's Metal Works and learned his story of moving to the area and learning from a local blacksmith. Now he teaches classes. We also found an antique store called Whistle Stop, an art co-op, and a bicycle museum...all within walking distance around this quaint little town.

Saturday morning the rain finally greeted us.. and our only plan that day was the Gap Cave Tour. We met Brittany and Josh at the Daniel Boone parking lot, and along with two other families, we hiked to the cave. Equipped with flashlights and headlamps, for about two hours Brittany walked with us thru the cave -- giving both history and science lessons. We saw pools of water, bats, Civil War soldier names etched in the cave walls, lots of steps, total darkness and many beautiful formations.

Heading back to the town of Cumberland Gap, we enjoyed a stroll to the Iron Furnace and listened to the creek run after much rain. A warm inviting front porch swing at the Gap Creek Coffeehouse was a great place to have coffee and hot chocolate. Our weekend ended with a second visit to Shades Cafe and Steakhouse. Yet another great local place to have a date in the middle of a weekend get away.

Who says a rainy weekend can't also be a weekend to discover.



Beverly Alice

About Beverly Alice

Beverly Alice is celebrating her 50’s and the newness of an empty nest with a reach forward attitude of adventure. After raising two sons, she and her husband are on a quest of discovery, hope, anticipation and look for opportunities to enjoy new places together. Adventure is an attitude, no matter where you are. Beverly is working on her own blog at He Is Still Working On Me…. https://heisstillworkingonme.wordpress.com/.