by D. Lanier Shook June 2, 2015
There is a certain magic about driving into a small town. The stores, houses, and geography creates a fantasy-like environment. Small towns possess an authentic character that we can all relate to.
Cumberland Gap, Tennessee is that kind of town. Time feels slower here, even though the town has a vibrancy that’s very much twentieth century. That combination is one thing that make Cumberland Gap a small town you need to visit.
Cumberland Gap would be an incredible destination for a weekend roadtrip. I always just take I-40 West to I-81 and up to US 25 at Morristown. US 25 travels through Morristown and across Cherokee Lake to Harrogate and Cumberland Gap. Cumberland Gap is minutes from the history and architecture of Cumberland Gap and the museum at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate.
Of course visiting Cumberland Gap is more than just appreciating a small town. Its part of an area that played a huge role in so much of American History. When the Declaration of Independence complained that George II was “…refusing to …encourage … migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands…” it was referring to the King’s discouragement of the Western Migration through areas like the Cumberland Gap. The area is also rich in Civil War history, including several major reenactments further north near Barbourville.
Cumberland Gap is a small town you should visit at least once. The small town atmosphere, the history, and the short drive make it a perfect weekend getaway. Its a place you will probably return to again and again.
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If you are interested in visiting Cumberland Gap here are a few links you may find useful.
(And I’d like to thank Wikipedia for borrowing the line from the Declaration from their article, located here.)