Visitor center, wilderness road campground temporarily closed

Published 2:58 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of March 18, the park Visitor Center and the Wilderness Road Campground are closed until further notice. The Pinnacle Overlook, all park trails, and restrooms, other than those located in the campground, are open to the public.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Cumberland Gap is our number one priority. We are working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels,” said Park Superintendent Charles Sellars.

There are still numerous ways for visitors to enjoy Cumberland Gap. Incredible armchair visits are possible through the park’s website which includes the park’s orientation film and virtual tours of Hensley Settlement and Gap Cave. From the website, youngsters can download the Junior Ranger workbook. Upon completion, copies can be sent to the park; rangers will reward via mail the Junior Ranger badge. Civil War enthusiasts can download the “Civil War Driving Tour” from the park’s website. Rangers can be contacted via the website.

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“Cumberland Gap rangers enjoy penning personal responses to visitors’ and students’ questions,” said Superintendent Sellars. “Frequently, we receive notes from students excitedly sharing the good news that they have received 100% on school reports based on their collaboration with park rangers. I’m not too sure who is more excited – students or the rangers themselves.”

Residents in Bell County, Kentucky can immerse themselves in riveting episodes of “Wild Outdoor Adventures with Ranger Carol” which airs on MCTV 377 Community Television. The show airs on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. A new segment on wilderness will soon be unveiled.

Visitors are urged to do their part when visiting Cumberland Gap and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups; washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

High-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, are strongly reminded that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.

Updates about Cumberland Gap’s operations will be posted to the park’s the park’s Facebook

Visitors can also call 606-248-2817.