Historical Rendering of Daniel Boone Along the Wilderness Road
One of the nation’s most historic routes, the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail was blazed by the legendary frontiersman in 1775 from the Long Island of the Holston at what is now Kingsport TN, through the Cumberland Gap of Virginia into Kentucky. It would become the route for thousands of settlers to the western frontier.
Long before Columbus discovered America, the Wilderness Trail was a major link in the trail systems of the Indians on the North American continent, used for commerce and raids. Gabriel Arthur, a young indentured servant, was the first of record to travel the route and see the Cumberland Gap, a natural break in the mountains. Arthur was sent along the trail in 1674 by the Shawnee Indians to secure a trade agreement with settlers. The next recorded man to see the Gap was Dr. Thomas Walker in 1750.
The most daring effort to colonize the rich lands of the Kentucky River area were those of Colonel Richard Henderson, a Superior Court judge of North Carolina. Henderson decided the best way to secure the area was to deal directly with the Cherokee Indians. He discussed plans with friends, and they formed the Transylvania Company and solicited the assistance of Boone in negotiating with the Indians and blazing the trail.
On March 10, 1775, Boone led his 30 trail blazers from Long Island of the Holston to cut the trail through some 200 miles of wilderness northwest through the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky.
Thanks to the Daniel Boone Wilderness Road Trail Association, today, travelers can follow the Wilderness Trail as closely as possible along the original route. Several historical stops are available along the route, and it makes a great day-long road trip through the scenic rolling hills and valleys of Scott County, VA into Lee County, VA to the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky.
Travelers may begin their journey at any juncture along the Wilderness Road. Some of the more significant stops are listed below. For detailed map: https://danielboonetrail.com/trail-map/.
SOURCE: Explore Scott County