A historic painting depicts Daniel Boone in Kentucky

Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone's Kentucky

Daniel Boone was many things. An explorer. A hero of early-American pioneer history. An enduring legend for our nation’s westward march across its first frontier. And last but not least, a founding father of Kentucky.

The legendary frontiersman first marked an early trail for others to follow west into America’s heartland during the spring of 1775, breaking through a vast expanse of wilderness that served as the hunting lands for the Shawnee and Cherokee people – and eventually became Kentucky. That path he took is now known as Boone Trace, and in the decades following the American Revolution, hundreds of thousands of European settlers made their way into Kentucky along Boone's Wilderness Trail, passing through Cumberland Gap and traveling on to Fort Boonesborough, one of Kentucky's first permanent settlements.

Boone Trace

Along this route today are a host of recreational and educational opportunities that help visitors connect with the importance of America’s pioneer history. At each site, you’ll discover fascinating exhibits that tell of the men and women who were ultimately triumphant in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardships. 

Exploring the area’s museums, parks and trails will also reveal the story of conflict between separate cultures with different ideas on how best to live based on what resources were provided by the land. It is a story that shaped the earliest development of a new nation – and it’s just as important today.

Explore Daniel Boone's

Boone Trace

Close-up of a Daniel Boone historic marker at Waveland in Kentucky

Follow in Daniel Boone’s footsteps and visit some of Eastern and Central Kentucky’s most historic and scenic places, including Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and Levi Jackson Wilderness Road Park.

Explore More History & Heritage in Kentucky