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TENNESSEE WILDLIFE VIEWING TRAIL » East Tennessee
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Cumberland Gap National Historic Park

Site Directions: Visitors traveling on Interstate 75 should exit on Highway 63 at Jacksboro/La Follette. Proceed east on Highway 63 to Highway 25E then north on Highway 25E approximately 2 miles to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. If you are beginning your trip from Knoxville, it is recommended that you start your trip on Highway 25E and visit the Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area before traveling on to the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.
Lat-Long: 36.59475, -83.67101
Hours: The visitor center at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is open daily from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM and is located along Highway 25 E in Middlesboro, Kentucky. For more information please call (606) 248-2817.
Seasonality: year round
Fees: none for park access, but there are fees for cave and other tours.

Site Description: Native American, the longhunter, the pioneer... all traveled this route through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great gateway and the many miles of trails and scenic features found in the park.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is located in the southern mountains of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Visitors can experience the grandeur of these mountains while exploring over 70 miles of trails, historic sites, and numerous overlooks and vistas. Wild mountain streams and cascades delight the soul, dark and majestic caves offer a glimpse of a different world, and lush, green forests provide habitat for numerous animals.

A variety of habitats provide wonderful opportunities to view birds. Most of the park is covered in mixed deciduous forest with numerous open and meadow areas and streams with opportunities to view woodland and grassland songbirds, wading birds, and migrant warblers. The Pinnacle Overlook in the park is an ideal place to view hawks during fall migration and a highly recommended hike.

Wildlife to Watch: Wildlife abounds across the park, including Black Bear, White-tailed Deer, Elk, Bobcat, Coyote, and over 160 species of birds have been documented. Forest breeding birds include Scarlet Tanager, Ovenbird, Worm-eating Warbler, Wood Thrush, and Red-eyed Vireo. General woodland birding is good year round, including winter when short-distance migrants like White-throated Sparrow are common.

For more information:

National Park web page

Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau Nature Trail


Submit your data to eBird and help us build a list of birds seen at this site


Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.