Cumberland Historic Byway
Tennessee's Westward Expansion
The landscape of the Northern Cumberland Plateau is one of paths, trails, sacred hunting grounds and rich timberlands. Each area is defined by its own distinctive geologic formation, one giving way to the other as you move from east to west. Drawn to the wildness of this unique land, early Americans fulfilled their thirst for exploration and adventure by moving westward. The rugged terrain, and the isolation that accompanied it, defined a way of life that is truly authentic – a way of life that has become synonymous with early American settlement- that is the life of the Frontiersman.
The Cumberland Historic Byway provides a glimpse into the multitude of intrinsic qualities and resources that make Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland region a true hidden frontier.
The road that runs through the Cumberland Byway, as it is experienced today, is much more than just a connection between the Cumberland Gap and the Cumberland River – it is a destination in its own right.
A few miles down the Byway, set in this beautiful rolling farmland, you discover the Alvin York Farm National Historic District, home of WWI's most celebrated hero.
The area surrounding the Cumberland Byway abounds with recreational lakes, scenic and whitewater rivers, impressive canyons, waterfalls, natural bridges, caves, cliffs for rock climbers, and beautiful forested mountains and valleys.
The region, blessed with abundant springs, streams and fertile (though generally small) valley bottoms developed as a rural agrarian area.
Peaks and Lookouts
The varying topography along the Cumberland Byway provides for countless peaks and lookouts that can and should be capitalized upon.