Route 2, Box 115,
Ewing, Va. 24248
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
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,
Wilderness Road Trail, a 10-mile hiking, biking and equestrian trail.
Indian Ridge Trail, a self-guided, natural heritage trail.
Time to Park from: Northern Virginia, 10 hours; Richmond, eight
hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, 11 hours; Roanoke, five hours.
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.
For maps and more information: