Wilderness Road Trail

Virginia

Wilderness Road Trail Facts

States: Virginia
Counties: Lee
Length: 8.5 miles
Trail end points: Old Wilderness Road/US 58 (TN-VA state line) and Daniel Boone Trail Rd./US 58 (near Ewing)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6068510
Trail activities: Bike, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Register for Free with TrailLink Today!

View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
Share your trail photos
Save Your Favorite Trails
Find New Trails Near You
Leave reviews for trails
Submit new trails to our site
Register Now

Wilderness Road Trail Description

History runs deep along the Wilderness Road Trail, which roughly follows a path carved by Daniel Boone in April 1775. The path later became a route on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad before finally being converted to a rail-trail that stretches from a national historic park to a state park.

At the western trailhead in Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, the Wilderness Road Trail connects to the 1.6-mile Boone Trail, which connects to a larger trail system that continues through the Cumberland Gap. Just beyond the trailhead in Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, you might catch a glimpse of impressive buffalo grazing in a privately owned, fenced area.

The first 2 miles run right next to US 58. Although this sounds unpleasant, you are separated from vehicles and there is something soothing about riding through forsythia toward forest and farmland. After this stretch, the trail backs into a quiet and much more scenic area behind a veil of trees, although the path still parallels US 58 until the trail's terminus just west of Ewing.

Once it retreats from the road, the trail meanders through nearly 7 miles of picturesque farmland, complete with bright white fences and grazing cattle. The route is dotted with quaint homes, barns and silos, and the impressive Cumberland Mountain serves as a backdrop to this idyllic landscape.

Wilderness Road State Park hosts reenactments and living history events throughout the year. The Joseph Martin House, located in the park and next to the trail, offers restrooms, a gift shop and local history exhibits. There is a user fee to enter the park.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the westernmost trailhead in Cumberland Gap, head west from Bristol on US 58. Continue past the Heart of Appalachia Gazebo trailhead and paved parking lot on your right, which is about 4 miles west of Wilderness Road State Park. Continue west on US 58, and after another 2 miles, reach the trail's start point, where you'll find limited roadside parking.

If you're coming from the west on US 58, the trailhead is about 1 mile east of the intersection of US 58 and US 25E.

The easternmost trailhead is also right off of US 58 at a paved parking lot about 3 miles west of Ewing. If you're heading west on US 58 from Bristol, you'll see a sign stating that Cumberland Gap is 10 miles away. The parking area is on the north side of US 58.

Wilderness Road Trail Reviews

Biked this trail from The Wilderness Trail State Park Visitors Center out East about 2 miles to the end then back and explored the reconstructed fort and Martin's Station. We then proceeded West for about 6.2 miles. All of this was well cared for trail. There are buffalo in one section on the trail and you can walk up steps to get close to their fenced field. We were cautioned by the ranger at the Visitors Center that the trail deteriorated once it left the State Park grounds. It certainly did. It ran right along route 58 and was over grown with weeds and a poor base. We turned around before reaching the National Park as riding beside the highway on a shifting base wasn't much fun. There are educational signs along the trail and we enjoyed learning about the history of the trail. The scenery is beautiful and we didn't meet another biker only a few walkers. It was a very nice stop on our way through the area.

Road this today and unfortunately didn't make it past the part near the road that is way to Streep with the gravel. Ended up on my side with a slit in my shin and had to head back to the road and back to the car. Beautiful day but don't recommend this on a bike.

Rode the western end of the Wilderness Road Trail. It is mostly loose gravel. It is shared with horses so the hoof marks made the trail rougher. The trail runs parallel to the highway on this section. Not as scenic because of the highway noise. Also a bit hilly. Otherwise, a good trail to ride in the fall.

Accordion

I have not experienced the same problems that previous reviewers have mentioned, except a few dogs that are easily outrun, or squirted with a little water.
the best parking is at Daniel Boone Parking lot in Cumberland Gap. The Daniel Boone has nice restrooms and water and also some maps and info.
From here you can head west over the gap into Kentucky, or Northeast into Virginia.

Heading west the trail is smooth and fast for cyclocross bikes and mt. bikes. road bikes might slide around too much on the fine gravel/dirt surface. you can ride side by side.
if you head northeast you will have a couple miles of single track, perfect for cyclocross and mt.biking fun with a couple stream crossings on wooden bridges. Not too technical, just fun. When the trail comes to the highway it runs parallel to the highway for a couple miles and the rocks get bigger. Mt. bikes will fly here and cyclocross riders need to pay attention to the surface. once you get to the gazebo parking lot the trail is super smooth again and flat and fast. from here it is 6.4 miles to the northern end (another good parking lot.) I have covered this portion in under 22 minutes. You could ride a road bike here but cyclocross bikes are better.

It is pretty fast with a smooth hard surface and a very shallow grade when not completely flat. (averages 0.3% uphill heading north) Look out for horse manure since the horse people just don't care about anyone else. They never heard of horse diapers.
that's my only complaint.

We rode our bikes on the multi-use trail a few weeks ago. I would have to say that we loved it and will be back when the weather gets cooler, still the ride was in the shade for most of the 8.3 miles that we rode. The trail is hard pack crusher mix gravel, and is soft in some places but no problem for a Mtn. bike or my beach cruiser with wide tires. It does get steeper and more difficult past Gibson Station about 4.5 miles from WRSP going to Cumberland Gap Park, which is as far as you can ride a bike. More geocaches are to be placed along the trail soon. Really a great trail for hiking or biking. Looks to be used mostly by horse riders, but we had the whole place to ourselves on a Sunday.

I'm pretty sure this was the most boring trail we have ever been on. My husband made the comment that after riding the Virginia Creeper Trail, it's hard to find another one that measures up. That being said, about 6 miles into this ride, the trail becomes rutted and like riding in wet sand. It was rough, rough riding that was not expected for a trail. It was so rutted out that we finally rode down and rode on the highway shoulder which was a much better ride, even on a mountain bike. After getting out of the rutted sand, we biked back onto the trail and continued back to the car. About 3-4 miles from the end, I was just taking my time doing some easy peddling, when out of the clear blue a Beagle Dog came barreling down off a bank after me, intent on having my ankle for lunch. Unbelievably I was able to outrun him until he gave up and went home. The ride from our home to the park was beyond sweet so it ended up being worth the trip specifically for the scenery. We would never make the trip back for the ride.

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Benham Rail Trail

Kentucky - 2.25 miles

The Benham Rail Trail—also known as the Benham Walking Trail and Coal Miners Walking Trail—runs east to west across the small town of Benham on a...

Holston River Greenway (Holston River Park)

Tennessee - 2 miles

The Holston River Greenway is one of many in Knoxville's greenway system scattered throughout the city. This 2-mile greenway is in Holston River Park...

Knoxville City Greenways

Tennessee - 30 miles

The city of Knoxville has an extensive and growing system of greenways, including the Holston River Greeway. The greenways follow natural water...

Accordion

Will Skelton Greenway

Tennessee - 3.47 miles

Will Skelton Greenway is 3.5 miles of adventure just miles from Downtown Knoxville. Beginning at Island Home Park, the greenway stretches east along...

Neyland Greenway

Tennessee - 3 miles

Across the First Creek Bridge from the James White Greenway is the Neyland Greenway. This paved, multiuse trail travels west along Knoxville’s...

Middlebrook Greenway

Tennessee - 0.74 miles

This short segment of the Knoxville Greenway system runs parallel to Middlebrook Pike (SR 169). As one heads west, the landscape transitions from...

Third Creek Greenway

Tennessee - 2.74 miles

The Third Creek Greenway is a paved pedestrian and bike path in West Knoxville that mostly lies within a wooded riparian corridor. The trail happens...

Bearden Village Greenway

Tennessee - 2.7 miles

From Third Creek Greenway Park, the Bearden Village Greenway extends west along Sutherland Ave., terminating a little after Westward Ave. Though...

Sequoyah Greenway

Tennessee - 2.7 miles

The Sequoyah Greenway sits right on the median of the scenic Cherokee Boulevard through Knoxville’s grandest neighborhoods, allowing pedestrians to...

Weisgarber Greenway

Tennessee - 0.95 miles

The Weisgarber Greenway basically mirrors the alignment of the road by the same name for about a mile, beginning the intersection of old Weisberger...

Jean Teague Greenway

Tennessee - 2.1 miles

The Trail starts on Broome Rd. and heads south parallel to N Gallaher View Road for 0.2 miles. A left turn takes you onto E Walker Springs Ln. where...

Cavet Station Greenway

Tennessee - 0.95 miles

Cavet Station Greenway is a roughly mile-long non-motorized trail in Knoxville, Tennesee. The trail is open to users ranging from walkers and joggers...

Support trails with a tax-deductible gift by December 31
Look Good, Feel Good: Get Your 2018 RTC TrailNation Jersey!
Order Your 2018 RTC Trail Calendar for Beautiful Trails All Year Long!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews
OR

Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!
OR