Walking Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road to Kentucky

In the spring of 1775, Daniel Boone created a path through the Cumberland Gap that would become known as Boone's Trace and later Wilderness Trail. This path was America's first gateway to the west, which was Kentucky. 

Many of us forget that he not only was following an Indian hunting path, he marked and cleared it as well. It was a job.

Walking on Daniel Boone's Trail

In 2015, the Curtis Penix, host of the Daniel Boone Footsteps YouTube channel, spends sixteen days following this same path. He walked from Kingsport, TN, to Fort Boonesborough, KY. He wanted to trace the steps of his pioneer ancestor. What an interesting way to make history relevant to people today. Penix lyrically narration helps you appreciate the enormity of this task.

Dr. John Fox, president of Friends of Boone Trace, researched the historic route through five gaps in the mountainous geography.



The Wilderness Road through Cumberland Gap

From the Destination Changing channel, the Youtuber follows the path his Kentucky ancestor, Powell Skelton used to migrate from South Carolina into Kentucky around 1800. He supplies the Skelton family history as he walks the worn path.

While this narrator walks through the woods on a beaten path, he notes the path would barely have accommodated a horse. 



History of the Cumberland Gap - Gateway to the West

This video, produced by the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, discusses the history of how the gap's formation over the centuries. Indians first used the path, but North and South Carolina settlers later used it to cross into Kentucky. 

Experience the scenic views from the mountain tops and then explore the lesser known of Kentucky's caves, Gap Cave. The cave contains engravings from Civil War soldiers. 


Read More of our Bluegrass Roots Content


Littell's Law Books contain rich details about what our ancestors were doing in the early years of Kentucky.

In 1780, early Kentucky pioneers entered Fayette County so quickly it inflated the land prices.