Wilderness Road

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Migration  Gotoarrow.png  Trails and Roads  Gotoarrow.png  Wilderness Road

Daniel Boone and his men blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap f
Wilderness Road Map.png
The Cumberland Gap in Winter.
The Wilderness Road started at Bristol, Virginia (splitting off the Great Valley Road) and headed west along the Virginia-Tennessee border to the Cumberland Gap, across the nearby Cumberland River, and then went northwest to Boonesborough, Kentucky. Eventually, an extension of the road would reach Louisville, Kentucky on the Falls of the Ohio River.

Historical Background

In 1774 Judge Richard Henderson, a land speculator of North Carolina, hired Daniel Boone to blaze a trail through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. An estimated 70,000 pioneers followed the path on foot or horseback into Kentucky and beyond before it was reopened as a wagon road in 1796.


  • Bristol, Washington, Virginia
  • Cumberland Gap at the juncture of Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky
  • Boonesborough, Madison, Kentucky

Later extension:

  • Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky

Settlers and Records

For partial list of settlers who used the Wilderness Road, see .

Internet Sites

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Wilderness Road


  • Johnson, Robert Foster. Wilderness Road Cemeteries in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. Owensboro, Kentucky: McDowell Publications, 1981. FHL US/CAN Book 973 V3j.