In March 1775, Daniel Boone departed the Long Island of the Holston River with a party of 30 axe men and two women camp keepers. They had been hired by Judge Richard Henderson of North Carolina to mark a trail for settlers to follow into the Transylvania Purchase, an expanse of 20 million acres between the Ohio River and the Cumberland River leased to the Transylvania Company in a treaty just completed with Cherokee leaders at Sycamore Shoals along the Watauga River in today’s Elizabethton, Tennessee. The party ventured through the valleys of the Clinch and Powell Rivers in today’s Southwest Virginia, stopping briefly at Martin’s Station (Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Virginia) to prepare for their journey into the Kentucky wilderness. With their provisions carried on pack horses, Boone’s party proceeded west, passing through the natural gap in the imposing barrier of the Cumberland Mountains. Their adventure had begun.
You can explore their story and follow in their footsteps by visiting specific sites in the Boone Trace Corridor. Sites include educational opportunities at wayside exhibits and museums. Recreational opportunities include hiking and canoeing and viewing the landscape across which the Boone party passed. Both are important parts of the historical experience you can have from visiting sites along the Boone Trace Corridor.
New sites will be added as they are developed by the communities who make up the Boone Trace Corridor. Here are some of them, listed from south to north in the order Daniel Boone encountered them in his 1775 trek from Cumberland Gap to Fort Boonesborough across 120 miles of Kentucky wilderness.
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The Boone Trace journey continues. Just as the Boone Trace opened up a vast expanse of America for settlement, so can exploring the Boone Trace Corridor begin an extended adventure for you and your family into learning more about America’s frontier history and the legacy of the pioneer period in America’s story.
Daniel Boone is America’s pioneer hero. He left his mark for posterity. So can you.