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Wilderness Road State Park

About Teddy Bear RatingsRoute 2, Box 115
Ewing, Va. 24248
(276) 445-3065
email Wilderness Road

HISTORY: Wilderness Road State Park is in a geographically and historically significant region of Virginia. The park lies astride the Wilderness Road that winds down the valley. In 1775, Daniel Boone carved the Wilderness Road, and by 1800 more than 300,000 settlers traveled the Wilderness Road westward through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky and the Midwest. It was originally settled by Joseph Martin, who arrived there on March 26, 1769, after a difficult journey. Martin abandoned a fort his group had erected after an attack by Native American forces that fall, but returned in earnest in January 1775.

Wilderness Road State Park was originally part of a farm owned by Robert M. Ely. The mansion was built in the late 1870s, and several generations of Ely descendants lived there. The surrounding rural area still bears the name Elydale after the Ely family.

In the 1940s, the mansion and surrounding property were purchased by Karl and Ann Harris. Even though the mansion was renovated several times, the basic structure of the house remains the same.

Wilderness Road Trail bisects Wilderness Road State Park. Visitors may park cars and horse trailers at the park to access the trail. The trail connects the park with the campgrounds at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, six miles away.

GENERAL INFO: Wilderness Road State Park was purchased in 1993; the park is approximately 200 acres that lie astride the �Wilderness Road.� Wilderness Road was carved by Daniel Boone in 1775 to open America�s first western frontier. Most notable in the park are the Karlan Mansion, built in the 1870s, and Martin's Station, a replica of a fort built there in 1775. Karlan Mansion is unfurnished but available for rent for special events. Bikes can be rented to ride the Wilderness Road Trail that passes through the park. The park also has a self-guided hiking trail as well as interpretive and environmental educational programs. Snacks and other merchandise are available seasonally at the Wilderness Road Outpost, located by Wilderness Road Trail.

LOCATION: At the intersection of Routes 58 and 923, five miles west of Ewing, Va., and six miles east of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middlesboro, Ky.

Drive Time : Northern Virginia, 10 hours; Richmond, eight hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, 11 hours; Roanoke, five hours.

PICNIC SHELTERS: Call the State Parks Reservation Center at 1-800-933-7275 to rent a picnic shelter. Parking and other park fees are not included in shelter rental. Shelters can be rented from 8 a.m. to dark (all day), or from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or from 3 p.m. to dark (half days). Each shelter guest must pay applicable daily parking or admission fees. If you'd rather arrange to have such fees for your guests paid up-front, please contact park staff before the day of your event. Also, a special use permit and additional fees may be required for any activities other than simply picnicking; call the park beforehand to discuss such issues.

Amenities - Shelters have a grill, picnic tables and access to a restroom.

Shelter 1: Small Shelter - Seats 48 under shelter; can accommodate more in surrounding picnic area, but those tables are not included in the reservation of the shelter. It has one water spigot and two electrical outlets; the shelter is handicapped accessible. Parking and restrooms are nearby. Playground equipment will be installed in the area soon.

Shelter 2: Small Shelter - Seats 48 under shelter; can accommodate more in surrounding picnic area, but those tables are not included in the reservation of the shelter. It has one water spigot and two electrical outlets; the shelter is handicapped accessible. Parking and restrooms are nearby. Playground equipment will be installed in the area soon.

Shelter 3: Large Shelter - Seats 60 under shelter; can accommodate more in surrounding picnic area, but those tables are not included in the reservation of the shelter. There's a built-in fireplace, a water spigot, two electrical outlets, and the shelter is handicapped accessible. Parking and restrooms are nearby. Playground equipment will be installed in the area soon.

Official Website: Wilderness Road State Park

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