Historical rendering of Daniel Boone and the frontier party blazing their way along the Wilderness Road

Historical Rendering of Daniel Boone Along the Wilderness Road

One of the nation’s most historic routes, the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail was blazed by the legendary frontiersman in 1775 from the Long Island of the Holston at what is now Kingsport TN, through the Cumberland Gap of Virginia into Kentucky.  It would become the route for thousands of settlers to the western frontier.

Long before Columbus discovered America, the Wilderness Trail was a major link in the trail systems of the Indians on the North American continent, used for commerce and raids.  Gabriel Arthur, a young indentured servant, was the first of record to travel the route and see the Cumberland Gap, a natural break in the mountains.  Arthur was sent along the trail in 1674 by the Shawnee Indians to secure a trade agreement with settlers.  The next recorded man to see the Gap was Dr. Thomas Walker in 1750.

The most daring effort to colonize the rich lands of the Kentucky River area were those of Colonel Richard Henderson, a Superior Court judge of North Carolina.  Henderson decided the best way to secure the area was to deal directly with the Cherokee Indians.  He discussed plans with friends, and they formed the Transylvania Company and solicited the assistance of Boone in negotiating with the Indians and blazing the trail.

On March 10, 1775, Boone led his 30 trail blazers from Long Island of the Holston to cut the trail through some 200 miles of wilderness northwest through the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky.

Thanks to the Daniel Boone Wilderness Road Trail Association, today, travelers can follow the Wilderness Trail as closely as possible along the original route.  Several historical stops are available along the route, and it makes a great day-long road trip through the scenic rolling hills and valleys of Scott County, VA into Lee County, VA to the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky.

Travelers may begin their journey at any juncture along the Wilderness Road.  Some of the more significant stops are listed below.  For detailed map:

Netherland Inn, Long Island of the Holston, Kingsport, Tennessee

Long Island on the Holston, or Hogoheegee River was the sacred treaty ground to the Cherokee.  It is the western terminus of the Reedy Creek Road, which carried the Great Warrior’s Path from Bristol to Kingsport. The Netherland Inn was strategically located in King’s Port and served as a way station for both river and road travelers.  Visitors can access the Long Island of the Holston via a swinging bridge, located on the Greenbelt walkway across from the Netherland Inn.  On the island, visitors can see the monument erected by the Cherokee nation on land ceded to them in commemoration of the United States Bicentennial.  The stone in the monument was brought from the Qualla Reservation at Cherokee, North Carolina.

Long Island of the Holston Marker

Cherokee Nation Marker at Long Island of the Holston

Anderson Blockhouse Site, Carters Valley, Scott County, Virginia

The historic marker indicates the original location of the John Anderson Blockhouse.  Anderson built his blockhouse on the knoll here sometime before 1775. (A replica of the John Anderson Blockhouse was constructed at Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield, VA.  Generally open Saturday and Sunday, May through October, it is currently closed due to COVID-19.  Visitors can drive up and visit the grounds.)

A blockhouse was a specialized log cabin built of squared logs, and with an upper story that extended out overhanging the walls of the lower structure.  The squaring of the timbers made a tight fit, which left no space for an adversary to shoot through into the interior of the structure.

Since the favorite way to get someone who was barricaded within a log cabin to come out was to set fire to it, the overhanging upper story afforded the opportunity to shoot down on anyone attempting to set the lower building on fire.  Blockhouses were used as fortified strong points by the military all across the Eastern North America.

The Anderson Blockhouse functioned as a gathering spot for pioneers, who would wait at the Blockhouse until enough “guns” had gathered to make the trek through Indian territory.  The Blockhouse was the last contact with the Holston Settlements.

After gathering his 30 ax men at Fort Patrick Henry, it was at the Blockhouse that Boone began to blaze the trail into Kentucky.  The trail went north past the Blockhouse on state route 606 to the ford just upstream from the present swinging bridge.  The swinging bridge is still maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and visitors are encouraged to meander out on the bridge.

Moccasin Gap, Gate City, Virginia

Moccasin Gap in Clinch Mountain is one of two ground level water gaps leading from the western reaches of the Great Valley of Virginia into the interior of the Alleghenies, the other being the Narrows of the New River.

The two main trails of the central Appalachians joined for a short distance to make the passage through Moccasin Gap.  The most important one was the Great Warrior’s Path, or the Wilderness Trail, or alternately the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail.

This area was of great significance during Indian times because it was the main trail connecting the Cherokee Country with that of the Shawnee in Ohio.  This last trail ran from the Smokies through Moccasin Gap to Big Stony Creek to High Knob, Pound Gap, Elkhorn Creek, The Big Sandy River, and across the Ohio River.

Daniel Boone, Virginia, Scott County

Hob Nob Restaurant

Hob Nob Drive-in Restaurant

This railroad yard and the community that surrounds it is the only place in Virginia named after Daniel Boone.  This is the original Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail, and Boone reportedly drank from a spring in this area.  Today, this area is more famous as the home of the Hob Nob, an iconic restaurant that has been in the same family for more than 60 years.  It is famous for its diner fare, in particular the soft-serve ice cream cones.

Clinchport, Virginia and Stock Creek

Cinchport was the head waters of flat boat navigation on the Cinch River, just as Kingsport was on the Holston.  Not only did pioneer loggers build massive log rafts here in the winter to catch the spring tide to float their logs to mills at Chattanooga, but settlers farther up the Clinch would bring produce downstream in dug out canoes called bateaux.  Clinchport was the region’s point of entry into the Tennessee River System.  The Wilderness Road followed Stock Creek from here.

Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield, Virginia

Natural Tunnel is a great spot to stop, get out and stretch your legs.  Although the Visitor Center is not open to the public now, the chairlift down to the bottom of the Tunnel is currently available Friday through Sunday.  Ride the chairlift down where you can take the boardwalk out to the mouth of the 850-feet long tunnel.  Tall as a ten-story building, the limestone cave within the tunnel was carved out thousands of years ago by Stock Creek.


Replica of John Anderson Wilderness Road Blockhouse

Wilderness Road Blockhouse Exploration Station, Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield, Virginia

Located within Natural Tunnel State Park, the Wilderness Road Blockhouse is a replica of the original John Anderson Blockhouse that stood on now Carter’s Valley Road and served as a gathering point for pioneers. Those making their way westward would gather at the Blockhouse until there were enough “guns” to make the trek through Indian territory westward to Kentucky.  The Blockhouse is currently closed to visitors due to COVID-19, but travelers may still stop and walk around the grounds.

Daniel Boone Historical Marker, Duffield, Virginia

One of the few remaining Daniel Boone Historical markers in existence.

Kane Gap, Duffield, Virginia

This natural notch was a welcome sight to travelers on the Wilderness Trail.  It was through this Gap that countless thousands trudged as they made their westward.  Accessed via Fraley Avenue, Duffield, this is the only trail where you can actually walk in the footsteps of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone.  The trail is part of the Daniel Boone Birding and Wildlife Trail.  Managed by the Jefferson National Forest Service, the trail is moderate to difficult, but is worth the climb to the Gap.  Just before reaching the Gap, visitors will see the “pioneer hotel” recorded in many journals.  This large rock outcrop served as a shelter to the thousands before they crossed down into the valley below.

Daniel Boone Wilderness Road Interpretative Center, Duffield, Virginia

A satellite location of Natural Tunnel State Park, the Center is currently open Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.  Admission is free.  Here visitors learn the important role the Wilderness Road played in American’s westward expansion.  The center offers a glimpse of the rough, unforgiving terrain early settlers traversed on their way to Kentucky.  The museum focuses on the portion of the trail from Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, Tennessee to the Cumberland Gap and the brave men, women and children who traveled the trail.  There are several hands-on exhibits, such as striking flint and steel to get a spark.

Powell Mountain Overlook, Duffield, Virginia

Regardless of the season, the Powell Mountain Overlook always delivers an amazing view.  Located between Duffield and Stickleyville, Virginia, the Overlook offers a spectacular view down into the valley below and is a favorite stop along the Wilderness Road.

Stickleyville School, Stickleyville, Virginia

The school stands on or near the site of the massacre of James Boone, Daniel’s son.  At the time, the Boones were migrating to Kentucky and James had gone ahead along with several others, notably, Henry Russell. According to accounts of the massacre, “wolves” howled all night around the camp.  At dawn, a mixed party of Shawnee and Cherokee Indians attacked and shot James Boone and Henry Russell, through the hips so that they could not escape.  The pair were then tortured with knives and then killed.  Boone is said to have asked a Shawnee Indian, Big Jim, who Boone knew from visits to the Boone family homestead in North Carolina, to kill him.  Russell was reportedly clubbed to death and his body shot full of arrows.

Jonesville, Virginia

Mumps Fort stood at the top of the hill where the current courthouse is located today.  The Fort was built by William Mumps in 1775 in a community known then as Glade Spring or Sinking Springs.  Mumps Fort abandoned in 1776 at the outbreak of the Cherokee War.  The garrison was then repositioned at Fort Blackmore in Scott County, Virginia.

White Cliffs, Ewing, Virginia

White Cliff Rocks, Ewing, Virginia

White Cliff Rocks, Ewing, Virginia

The white rock cliffs atop Cumberland Mountain were among the most commonly mentioned geographic features recorded in the journals of the emigrants along the entire length of the Trail.  The pioneers seemed to take the cliffs as a hallmark of the wonderful new land that they were claiming as their own.

The term Cumberland seemed to ring in the souls of the pioneers as the name of the port-of-entry into the Promised Land.  The Cumberland Mountain guided them on their way until they reached Cumberland Gap, which was the gateway to Eden.  From there they traveled across the Cumberland Valley to the Bluegrass of Kentucky.

Wilderness Road State Park, Ewing, Virginia

The Wilderness Road State Park offers picnicking, hiking and nature, and living history programs.  Visitors can enjoy the visitor center, home to a theater showing an award-winning docudrama, “Wilderness Road, Spirit of a Nation.”  The center also has a frontier museum and a gift shop with unique regional gifts.  The park features the reconstructed Martin’s Station, an outdoor, living history depicting life on Virginia’s 1775 frontier.  Guests can also enjoy the park’s picnic shelters, nature play-scape, ADA-certified playground, sand volleyball court and horseshoe pits.

Visitors can hike, bike or horseback ride on the 8.5 Wilderness Road Trail linking the park with more than 50 miles in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middlesboro, Kentucky

Cumberland Gap National Park

Cumberland Gap National Park

Cumberland Gap National Park is located at the crossroads of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia and creates a natural break in the Appalachian Mountains.  The Cumberland Gap Visitor Center features a museum with interactive exhibits about the Gap’s role as a transportation corridor, and also features the Cumberland Crafts gift shop, which houses juried wares from crafters throughout Appalachia.

The park covers 24,000 acres and is among the largest national parks in the eastern United States.  Stretching about 20 miles, the park runs along the Cumberland Mountains.  It includes 24 known cave features, ranging in size from around 20 feet to more than 16 miles in length.  There are also a large number of cliff systems in the park, the most prominent of which is the 500 feet cliffs of White Rocks, which is located in the eastern portion of the area.  At the northeastern end, the park lies adjacent to the Sillalah Creek Wildlife Management Area and Martin’s Fork Wildlife Management Area and State Natural Area.

Driving the entire Wilderness Road Trail can be done in one full day.  Conveniently located along the way are several places to dine, including Campus Drive-in and Family Bakery, Gate City; the Hob Nob, Daniel Boone; ChuBeez, Duffield; A Better Burger, Jonesville; and Dutch Treat, Rose Hill; as well as national chain fast food restaurants.

For lodging convenient to the Wilderness Trail, visitors have the option of Roberts Mill Suites and Estilville Bed & Breakfast, Gate City; Appalachian Mountain Cabins and PapPaw’s Cabin, Duffield; Valliee Farm Farmhouse, Stickleyville; and Wilderness Road Bed & Breakfast, Ewing.  Camping is available at both Natural Tunnel State Park and Cumberland Gap Wilderness Road Campground.


Allan and Vikki Roberts

Allan and Vikki Roberts

Vikki Roberts loves to renovate old buildings.  Her love for bringing beauty and dignity back to beaten down structures has led her and her husband, Allan, to renovate two downtown Gate City buildings and locate businesses in each.

The Roberts first renovated a structure at the corner of Jackson and King Streets and turned it into one of the area’s finest bakeries—The Family Bakery.  Vikki’s latest venture, Roberts & Jones gift shop, was once home to a bank and a longtime dress shop, called the Style Shop.

During the 17-month renovation of the former Style Shop, the Roberts completely gutted the building.  “The building has great bones,” Vikki said.  “You just couldn’t see them.”

Today Roberts & Jones Gift Shop is an open, airy store lighted by two massive chandeliers that were rescued from an old Washington, D.C. waterfront restaurant.  The chandeliers hang from a bead-board ceiling that Vikki painstakingly stained by hand while standing on gigantic scaffolding.

A wall of exposed brick and rough edged Depression-era wallpaper and horsehair plaster complete store’s entrance.  On the other side of the room stands an ornate antique cast-iron fireplace surround shanked by a cozy overstuffed chair that beckons you to come on in and sit a spell.

The Roberts initially looked at the former Style Shop as a home for the Family Bakery.  At the time, a price could not be negotiated but the Roberts never lost hope of someday owning the building.  Four  years after the Roberts opened the Family Bakery, the owner of the Style Shop, Walter Rhoton, came to the couple and asked if they were still interested in the Style Shop.

“Mr. Rhoton said he appreciated our vision,” she said.  Unfortunately, Mr. Rhoton passed away right before the property closed.  “I think he would have been proud of the renovation. We wanted to showcase the historic building in a way that made the community proud.”


Aside from bringing an old building back to life, Vikki wanted to open a gift shop that catered to personal service.  “You can call us and tell us the gift occasion and your price-point.  Then we will pick out something, wrap it up and have it ready for you.”

The Roberts have found downtown Gate City to be a good market.  “There are a lot of people who work in or near downtown Gate City and don’t have time to drive to Kingsport for a gift, plus Gate City sees a lot of tourists who want to take a memento home to remember their trip.”

Vikki is quick to point out that Gate City is a good market not just for them, but for anybody.  “Other businesses could also thrive here.  It would be great to see downtown Gate City full of shops.  That would make more people come.  We don’t want to be the only show in town.”

Roberts & Jones offers items with a price point ranging from $1.95 to $295.00.  The majority of the stock is sold exclusively by Robert & Jones. The store sells “Simply Southern T-shirts” and carries its own line of T-shirts, called “My Part of Virginia.”  There is also a women’s clothing line called “Lost Petal Linens” that is designed and made in Nashville.

You can find a gift for any occasion at Roberts & Jones.  There are baby gifts, a huge bridal selection, pottery, dishes, pieces for entertaining, men’s gifts including fly fishing equipment, books of local interest, Bates’ Family Farm Goat’s Milk lotions, Virginia Diner peanuts which are also suitable for corporate gifts, handmade signs, local art and a host of other items.

Renovation of the former Style Shop is not complete—there is an upstairs loft and basement that will be refurbished in time.  The basement will be turned into office space and the loft an apartment.  Vikki already has visions for the upstairs loft.

It will have an open floorplan, a similar look to downstairs, with a lot of open space that complements the antique bead-board and outside back view of the mountains in the distance. Truth be told, Vikki just likes to renovate. “I wanted to redo the buildings…I want these buildings to be beautiful.  But I have to have a business in here to pay for the renovations,” she laughed.

As for the store’s name—Robert & Jones—it took Vikki a long time to come up with just the right name for her new venture.  Then one day, she was rummaging around and found an old sign that said “Dick Jones, Proprietor.”

Wedding GiftsDick Jones was her grandfather and the Jones family’s first entrepreneur.  The sign came from an old service station that Mr. Jones owned in the Bloomingdale community of Kingsport.  That wasn’t Mr. Jones first business though.

According to Vikki, her grandfather had his first business when he was just 14-years-old.  “He and his older brother made crates to put caskets in that were taken to Knoxville.  They rode their bicycles 12 miles one way each time to make the crates.  And they turned out to be very successful with that little business.”

Even though Vikki’s real love is the rehabilitation of old buildings, the seeds of entrepreneurship were planted many years ago by Dick Jones.  In homage to her grandfather, she named the store Roberts & Jones.

Roberts & Jones is located at 165 W. Jackson St., Gate City, Va.  Hours of operation are Mon.—Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Telephone number is 276-690-2531.  You can find Roberts & Jones on Facebook and Instagram.  If you want a real feel for this wonderful store, drop in and browse.


Scott County is fortunate to have an extremely active horse association–the Scott County Regional Horse Association.  The Association is active in supporting trail rides and monthly shows from April to September at the Scott County Regional Horse Park in Dungannon, Virginia.

Trail Ride with Scott County Regional Horse AssociationScott County Regional Horse Association Mission

To promote and provide equine activities in Scott County and the surrounding region for our youth and fellow horsemen, while encouraging sportsmanship, family values and lasting friendships with our community and members through dedication and public involvement. We promote all breeds and activities pertaining to each breed.

An All-Breed Association headquartered in Scott County, Virginia at the Scott County Horse Park located at
17257 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Dungannon, Va.  24245

2019 Event Schedule

3/16 – VET DAY – BILL FULLER, DVM – 1:30 PM

           RAIN DATE – 3/23 – 1:30 PM

3/16 – TRADE DAY – 9:00 AM – Bring your items to sell or trade.  Bring any items as long as they are legal in the State of VA


4/19 – TRAIL RIDE 10:00 AM

4/19 – EASTER EGG HUNT – AGES 0-12 & 12-17 – 1:00 PM

4/19 – FOGGY MOUNTAIN FUN SHOW – 6:00 PM – (See Class Sheet Under Programs Tab)

4/20 – FOGGY MOUNTAIN STRAIGHT AWAY EVENTS – (See Class Sheet Under Programs Tab)












7/6 – BREAKFAST SERVED – 8:00AM – 9:30 AM







We will be honoring our Veterans at this show


9/13 – RACK N ROLL  SHOW – 7:00 PM




Cyclists will be delighted by Scott County’s scenic roads and trails.

Clinch RiverThe Dungannon and Clinch River Scenic Road Tour winds for 24 miles along country roads in the heart of Scott County. This beautiful route passes historical buildings and cemeteries, the world-famous Clinch River, a stunning waterfall and two charming small towns.

The Guest River Gorge Trail is one of the area’s easiest and most scenic hiking and biking trails and is the best way to explore a State Scenic River by bike. Cyclists will be enthralled by gorge geology, trestle-top views of the river, rare plants and river wildlife.

Another popular and relatively flat bike ride is along the A.P. Carter Highway. Here you can ride through Scott County’s scenic valley without all the twist, turns and inclines on the Clinch River Highway.  Start at the Hiltons Train Depot and ride all the way past the world-famous Carter Family to Mendota, Virginia.  There you can hook up with the Mendota Bicycle Trail.

You will travel through lovely countryside that parallels the Holston River for several miles.  Feel free to venture forth on one of the side roads, such as Lunsford Mill Road and circle around to Anne B. Cooper.  Along with the Carter Fold, you will see the picturesque Lodge at Crooked River, standing high on a hill overlooking the Holston River. The Lodge is available for wedding and event rentals and features an Crooked River Lodgeoutdoor wedding chapel on the banks of the Holston Rive

For many years, the Yuma community was home to the Tour De Possum Creek, a popular bike race, held in conjunction with Kingsport, Tennessee’s annual Fun Fest celebration.  Even though the event was abandoned, bike enthusiasts can still follow the 43-mile course, featuring a 2,600 feet climb.  A second option included a rolling, beautiful shorter ride of 22 miles plus a six-mile fun ride.  For the family or pro, this is a great ride through the rolling hills of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

For mountain bike enthusiasts, Natural Tunnel State Park has an eight-mile, single-track mountain bike path.  Another great mountain bike ride is a nine-mile ride along Waters Edge, which parallels the Clinch River.  This gravel road will take you along the Clinch River to the Tennessee State line.  When the water is right, you will spot several naturally-occurring waterfalls along this path and even a swinging bridge.  It is also a favorite trek for horseback enthusiasts.

For additional bike riding suggestions, contact the Scott County Tourism Department at 276-386-6521.  New trails are being added with the help of the Spearhead Trails Initiative.


Fannon’s Train museum is located at the intersection of Highway US 23, 421, and 58, in Duffield, Virginia.  Free admission.  Call in advance 276-431-2428.
Kenny Fannon, and his grandson, Ruston Fannon, are preserving the history of the railroad in Southwest Virginia.  The collection currently includes a refurbished authentic N&W Railroad caboose, a Diesel engine from Fannon Railroad Museum MemorabiliaBlue Diamond Coal Company in Scotia, Kentucky, and a tender car from ETW&NC, called the Tweetsie Line.  In addition, the Fannon’s have the depot used as a prop in the movie, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”  The depot is filled with old photographs, lanterns, whistles, schedules and anything else connected to the railroad.
The Fannons regularly provide railroad programs at Natural Tunnel State Park and the Southwest Virginia Museum.  They are available to provide programs to local civic clubs and schools.
Visitors welcome to the museum.  Call in advance.

Unique interactive personal encounters with some of the worlds rarest animals

Creation Kingdom Zoo is situated on 12 acres of sloping land in Snowflake, Va., just a few miles outside of Gate City. In addition to Bella, the white Bengal tiger, visitors to the zoo can also see leopards, an African serval, Creation Kingdom Zoospider monkeys, camels, wildebeest, a red kangaroo, Surri alpaca, zebras, elands, emu, kookaburra and llamas just to name a few.

One of the most unique and interactive zoo experiences for the whole family with some of the rarest animals on Earth. Creation Kingdom Zoo is situated in the picturesque Snowflake area just 5 miles out of Gate City, VA.

Visitors can see animals ranging from Apes to Zebra and all in between. In addition to being open to the public, the Zoo conducts ongoing research into the behavior and reproduction of several critically endangered species and participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP).

The Zoo is licensed by the USDA, USFW and State of Virginia and holds memberships in the Association of Professional Zookeepers, Association of Professional Wildlife Educators, and Zoological Association of America.

For more information on the zoo, please visit: or call the zoo main line at:276-479-1910

The zoo is available for group tours and parties. Special events are held throughout the year.

The Zoo is open Mid March through November 30

Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sun: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Creation Kingdom Zoo is located at 1642 Snowflake Road, Gate City. 276-690-5450

(Note:  The zoo is easy to find, but please call for directions.  Please do not rely on Google or your GPS to find Creation Kingdom Zoo.  Google Maps and your GPS are highly unreliable in Scott County.)