Cumberland Gap - Hike to Tri State Peak

 Today was a great day exploring the Cumberland Gap area. We hiked the Tri State Peak trail located in the Cumberland Mountains where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia all meet

 I never was much of a history buff- short facts is all I need to stay entertained, but I admit I learned a lot today about history in general in the area. To think that the Cumberland Gap was the main way to get from point A to point B, and that it was considered a relatively flat and easy way to get there, is crazy to me. Clearly, I am far lazier than those before me!  Between 1760 and 1850, almost 300,000 people walked, rode, or were carried through the Cumberland Gap. 

The hike to Tri-State Peak is a moderate 2.4-mile out-and-back with quite an elevation gain. I had read that it was 0.6 miles one way. So when the sign said 1.2 miles, I assumed that meant round trip. Well, halfway up, there was a sign that said 0.6 miles to the peak. I guess math never was a strong talent of mine either!!! 

While the majority of the trail is shaded, the weather was still proving to be a scorcher and we were both drenched in sweat half way up. Of course, wearing jeans and cowboy boots, having just got off the bikes for a 'quick hike', was likely a large cause of the sweat! 
There are a few stops along the way to check out - the Iron Furnace, the site of a Civil War warehouse, and the area that explosives were lit off on purpose to keep the Confederates from getting them.

 It took us about 45 minutes to get to the top of the peak. At the top, there is an area in which you can stand and have your feet in all three states at once. Given the hike, I was disappointed in the lack of signage in that specific spot. There was a little round marker, but nothing easy to photograph, as I had hoped. And the views were pretty obscured by trees. 

Here is the best view - the other areas are all overgrown with foliage. 

Where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia converge, there are lines  that show you the exact state and where it's border starts/ends. 
 A few feet away you'll see a sign that indicates that this was the "Royal Colonial Boundary" of 1665. In 1665, surveyors established this spot to be the far edge of their American colony. Colonists weren't supposed to go any further into America than this spot.

While I don't think the hike was worth it for the views, it was cool to learn a little history and say that I have been in all three states at once!