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Frontier Footsteps

Walk in the footsteps of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone along the Wilderness Trail in Scott County, Virginia.

On March 10, 1775, Boone and his 30 axemen left the Long Island of the Holston blazing some 200 miles of wilderness northwest through Scott County, Virginia through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky.  This historic trail opened the pathway for thousands of pioneers to proceed west.

Today, you can visit a replica of the John Anderson Blockhouse, where pioneers gathered until they had enough “guns” to make the trek through Indian Territory.  Standing high on a knoll overlooking Rye Cove, The Blockhouse is located within Natural Tunnel State Park.  The Daniel Boone Interpretative Center is scheduled to open late summer.  The Center is near one of the few remaining portions of the original Wilderness Trail—Kane Gap in Duffield. The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association has marked this portion of the original trail up to the top of Kane Gap.  The old pioneer “hotel,” described in many pioneer journals is easily spotted along the trail.

Scott County’s history is not limited just to Daniel Boone.  In fact, the area has many historical sites such as the Bush Mill, Kilgore Fort, and the Flanary Archeological site.  In 1977, an archaeological dig unearthed signs of a palisaded Native American village established some 8,000 years ago.

With strong ties to the Scotch-Irish, Scott County is also a great spot for genealogical exploration. The Scott County Historical Society has an office in downtown Gate City and is open by appointment.  Officials at the Scott County Courthouse are also available to help with family history research.

While searching their roots, many genealogists stay at the Estillville Bed & Breakfast in downtown Gate

Estillville Bed & Breakfast

City or at the Sugar Maple Inn in Nickelsville.  Boones Pointe Cabins is also centrally-located for easy access to historical records.

For more seclusion or perhaps relaxation, consider the cabins at Natural Tunnel State Park or Appalachian Mountain Cabins or stay on top of the Powell Mountain at Pap Paw’s Cabin.

A variety of chain drive-thru restaurants are available in Scott County.  For more variety, try Burgers ‘R Us or John’s Grille in Weber City.  Great short order fare is offered at Campus Drive In, the Hob Nob, Teddy’s and the Duffield Grille.  Make sure to grab a real Southern Sweet Ice Tea from Pal’s Sudden Service Drive-in, located in downtown Gate City and the only restaurant to have won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.  (This is fast food down to a science.)

For more information or help planning your trip to Scott County, Virginia, please visit our website at or call 276-386-6521.