Fitness Trail at Cumberland Gap

Next to the Visitors Center at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a Fitness Trail.  The trail is two miles long and meanders through the area behind the Visitors Center, through Bartlett Park, and around the parking lot.

Fitness Trail through the woods

The second day Tom and I reported for work here at Cumberland Gap, we walked the Fitness Trail.  I think they weren’t sure what to do with us, so they gave us a bag and grabbers and told us to pick up trash along the trail.  We found five or six pieces of trash, mostly along the part of the trail that runs beside the road.  Walking the trail was good for us though, so we knew what the trail looked like.  The trail goes by the place we were originally supposed to stay in the park, so we would have walked it frequently if we had been living in Bartlett Park.

Bridge over Yellow Creek

The Fitness trail is a nice trail with some ups and downs, but not the UP and down that you experience on other trails in the park.  We are a mountain park and most of the trails have some serious ups and downs.  The Fitness Trail is a pretty walk through the woods without being too strenuous.

Yellow Creek

That one day was the only time we have walked the Fitness Trail.  But the trail is well-used by the people who live in Middlesboro.  Locals know about it and walk it frequently.  We have some people that come every day to walk their dogs or just get some exercise themselves.  Some people start from their homes and include the walk into the park as part of their walk or run.  Others drive to the parking lot and then do the two miles.  It is very popular.

Tom and I love to see locals using the park.  It makes it “their” national park.  They are much more likely to support the stuff that goes on in the park if they have a sense of ownership.  Walking the fitness trail is one of the things that people can do regardless of whether or not the Visitors Center is open.