(Last Updated On: October 3, 2022)

Rustic pioneer cabin, Wilderness Road State Park, Virginia

Peaceful and rustic Wilderness Road State Park lies near Cumberland Gap and Ewing in Southwest Virginia. This 310 acre public recreation area was created around historic Wilderness Road and connects to the 14,000 acres inside Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

Visitors to this serene area enjoy exploring trails, fishing, primitive camping, picnicking and learning about the history of the Wilderness Road.


During your visit to Wilderness Road State Park you will have a chance to not only enjoy the great outdoors – picnic, hike, horseback ride, bike, camp, fish and watch nature – but also to learn about this historic area. The visitor center’s theater, Frontier Museum and Powder Horn Gift Shop depict life here during the late 1700s.

This Virginia state park’s Nature Center displays native animal pelts and skulls and has hands-on educational activities and guided hikes. And Historic Martin’s Station offers a glimpse into the past through its outdoor living history museum.

In addition to these special programs and features the park also provides picnic areas, nature playscapes, horseshoe pits and a full-sized sand volleyball court.

Here are some more activities that you can do during your visit to Wilderness Road State Park:

Trails at Wilderness Road State Park

The park’s 8.5 mile multi-use Wilderness Road Trail connects to the 50 miles of multi-use trails inside Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. For equestrians: Virginia state law requires visitors to carry a negative Coggins report for each horse brought to the park.

Here are a couple of popular trails inside Wilderness Road State Park:

  • Pioneer Trail & Wilderness Road Trail Loop – Easy 1.2 mile wide, flat trail past the reconstructed fort and iconic White Rocks with stunning views of massive Cumberland Mountain.
  • Indian Ridge Trail – Moderate .9 mile natural heritage hiking trail that features nature created rock stairs and lots of wildlife.
  • Fishermen’s Loop Trail – Moderate 1.0 mile open/unshaded trail that follows the creek (and the trout fishing area) past wildflower fields and with spectacular views of the mountains.

Fishing at Wilderness Road State Park

Both Indian Creek and Powell River are ideal fishing spots. Indian Creek is stocked with rainbow trout and brown trout, and Powell Creek with smallmouth bass, rock bass, catfish, sunfish and musky. Powell River is surrounded by private land so be sure to get permission before fishing from shore.

Indian Creek requires anglers to use single hooks and artificial lures and all trout caught between October 1 and June 15 must be released unharmed. Remember to pick up a Virginia freshwater fishing license ahead of time.

History at Wilderness Road State Park

Wilderness Road State Park is located in a geographically and historically significant region of Virginia (and the country). Daniel Boone carved Wilderness Road in 1775 and by 1800 more than 300,000 settlers had traveled through on their way west.

The park features an 1870s era mansion, the Karlan Mansion, and the reconstructed Martin’s Station, an outdoor living history museum depicting life on Virginia’s 1775 frontier.

In 1769 Martin Station was settled by Joseph Martin after a difficult journey. However, Martin shortly fled from the area after the station was attacked by Native Americans. He later returned, in January 1775. Re-enactments of this attack are put on throughout the year as well as other live events.

The visitor center features a theater, a frontier museum and a gift shop. Visitors can learn more by watching the award-winning documentary, ‘Wilderness Road, Spirit of a

Nation,’ shown at the visitor center theater. And purchase unique regional gifts and souvenirs at the gift shop.

Wildlife Viewing at Wilderness Road State Park

The expansive wilderness area around Wilderness Road State Park and inside of the adjacent Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is home to many species. The Wilderness Road Trail is a stop along the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail.

During your visit to this area you will see white-tailed deer, black bear, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, falcons, hawks, eagles, wild turkey, songbirds, turtles, snakes and many more creatures.

Weddings at Wilderness Road State Park

Wilderness Road State Park is a popular wedding destination. The 1870s Karlan Mansion has a solarium that is ideal for showers, birthdays and other special events. The amphitheater has seating for up to 100 and can be rented from 8am until 8pm (call 276-445-3065 for more information). Its natural surroundings create a picturesque backdrop for any special day.

Camping at Wilderness Road State Park

Wilderness Road State Park offers primitive camping for groups. Campers must bring drinking water; portable toilets are conveniently located nearby. Contact the park for more information (276-445-3065). Reservations can also be made at the visitor center.

Wilderness Road Campground (854 National Park Rd, Ewing, VA) is 3 miles from the park. They have 160 wooded campsites, 41 have electric and water connections. Many sites fit RVs up to 50’. Group camping and backcountry camping are also available here.

Pets at Wilderness Road State Park

Pets are allowed inside the park but must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet or in an enclosed area. Please clean up after your pet and do not leave them unattended at any time.

Attractions Near Wilderness Road State Park

  • Cumberland Gap National Historical Park – 91 Bartlett Park Road, Middlesboro, KY

    Explore 85 miles of trails, 14,000 acres of wilderness and the historic area where 300,000 people crossed the Appalachians to settle America. Experience the uniqueness of standing in 3 states at the same time! Other features include a cave, the Hensley Settlement and campsites.

  • Pine Mountain State Park – 1050 State Park Rd, Pineville, KY

    Secluded resort surrounded by the mountains of Kentucky Ridge. Stay in one of their rustic cottages, log cabins or lodge with restaurant and lounge and spectacular mountain views. Enjoy hiking, golfing, fishing and ziplining at this Kentucky state park.

  • Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum – 120 Mars-Debusk Pkwy, Harrogate, TN

    Located on the campus of the Lincoln Memorial University and featuring exhibits, art and books.

  • Virginia Heritage Music Trail

Park Location

Wilderness Road State Park
8051 Wilderness Rd Trail
Ewing, VA 24248
Phone: 276.445.3065




Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Wilderness Road State Park: