Wilderness Road State Park
Elevation: 1330 ft., Wilderness Road State Park offers a 14-mile linear hiking, biking, and equestrian trail known as the Wilderness Road Trail. This trail lies above an old railroad bed whose pathway was originally traveled by early settlers, forging a passage for settlement through Cumberland Gap into the frontier beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Because this site offers access to the Wilderness Road Trail and the extensive Cumberland Gap National Historic Park trail system, nature enthusiasts will find unlimited opportunities to view a variety of habitats and the diversity of wildlife that occupies them. Located in the park is Martin Station. The station is a premier living history site offering visitors a picture into the daily lives of settlers on the Virginia frontier of 1775-1776. It is the most authentic reconstructed frontier fort in America. The Station is brought to life with a stockaded fort, tavern, blockhouse, cabin, livestock and costumed interpreters. The site also features a small buffalo herd.
The park accommodates picnickers, hikers, history buffs and nature enthusiasts. It also offers meadows and open fields where blooming black-eyed Susan and Queen Anne’s lace attract skippers, fritillaries, and a variety of sulphurs and hairstreaks. Eastern bluebird, eastern kingbird, and barn swallow are in constant aerial display during the summers, with singing indigo bunting and sparrows making their appearances near brushier or wooded vegetation.
Within the park is a one-mile self-guided nature trail, the Indian Ridge Trail, which meanders through hardwood forests. Eastern towhee, brown thrasher, and red-eyed vireo are common breeders along this trail. The woodlands also provide an opportunity to see wintering American woodcock hiding in the forest floor and both species of kinglet abundantly flitting from tree to tree. Northern harrier and other wintering raptors should be easily viewed soaring over more open areas of the park.
From the Daniel Boone/Kane Gap Trail, return to Fraley Avenue and go east for 0.3 miles. Before the bridge, turn right onto Rt. 772/Boone Trail Road for 0.6 miles to US 58. Turn right onto US 58 West and continue for 45.0 miles, through the Town of Ewing, to Rt. 923. Turn right onto Rt. 923 into the entrance to Wilderness State Park. The trailhead for Indian Ridge Trail is about 0.5 miles down the road on the right.