In the midst of a summer season bustling with an astounding array of programs and superb visitation, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Superintendent Sula Jacobs immediately highlights the trio of “great visitors, an experienced Cumberland Gap team and outstanding partners.”
It is these partners, particularly Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Kentucky and Wilderness Road State Park in Virginia, which will be the focus of the July 24 quarterly “Meet and Greet” at the national park visitor center being held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rita Edmondson, manager at Pine Mountain State Resort Park and Scott Bowen, manager at Wilderness Road State Park, will also be on hand to share with visitors the excitement regarding their operations.
Jacobs expresses, “Cumberland Gap is so fortunate to have these state parks as partners. The synergy among the team is seamless. Pine Mountain’s natural resources, from the wildlife to forest habitats, are so similar to the Gap’s. Pine Mountain also offers a lodge and cabins and great recreational opportunities — golfing, swimming and line dancing — not offered here at the national park. Wilderness Road State Park’s story of the westward migration meshes perfectly with the story here at the Gap, especially the many re-enactments and special events the park hosts. All three parks are in frequent contact with each other and we’re all directing visitors to each of the parks.”
Edmondson shares, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring these parks together, in a show of mutual cooperation, for the benefit of all those who come to enjoy the natural beauty that each of our states has to offer.” Edmondson also reminds all to mark their calendars for the “Golf Luau on Aug. 29 and our Frontier Night Buffet held the last weekend in September. We’ll also be hosting our Dulcimer Festival that same weekend.”
For additional information, Edmondson directs all to www.parks.ky.gov/parks.resortparks/pine-mountain/.
This strong collaboration is echoed by Bowen. “The parks in the Tri-State area have had strong working relationships for many years. This event is a great opportunity for the general public to meet representatives from both federal and state parks, and to learn about each park’s uniquely different outdoor recreational experience.” Bowen further elaborates that “Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Virginia offers a unique perspective of early frontier history through the park’s living history fort, Martin’s Station. The park also offers the scenic Karlan Mansion. Built in 1874, the house and grounds are the perfect place for weddings and special events. The park offers picnic shelters, an amphitheater, gift shop, conference room and nearly ten miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Special themed events and weekly education program information can be found by visiting www.virginiastateparks.gov/wildernessroad.
Jacobs enthusiastically sums it up, “By having such wonderful and diverse state and national parks nearby, the Tri-State area is the perfect place to Find Your Park!”
Additional information on the open house and park events can be obtained by calling the park visitor center at 606-246-1075 or by visiting the park’s website at www.nps.gov/cuga.