Gap Cave is located within the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The Park is located on a map where KY, TN, and VA meet. Middlesboro KY is on the north, and Cumberland Gap TN is on the south. The cave has been used by mankind since the first settlers passed through the gap of the Cumberland's. Early pioneers used it as a place for shelter as they passed through the area, A slave named Cudjo, used it as a hide out, both union and confederate soldiers used it during the civil war, Lincoln Memorial University used it as a money making tourist trap, and now the CGNHP has it, and they are committed to preserving it, although they do offer tours through it for a small fee.
The tour offered by the CGNHP starts at the visitors center in Cumberland Gap. Here you park your car, and pay the $8 fee, ($4 with the golden access) and $4 for children.
Once you have paid the fees you meet up with the tour guide under the covered gateway. The gateway offers sounds of the pioneers passing through the gap, and you will see silhouettes of people, Indians, and animals as you might have seen in the 1800's.
The guide will give a brief spill about the cave and history before he leads you on a 6/10 of a mile hike up the mountain to the cave entrance.
There will be a stop or two on the way up to give us old folks a breather, and that gives the tour guide a chance to tell a little history about the area.
Once you reach the cave entrance the guide will unlock the gates, and give a short safety briefing. Both the entrance and exit have locked gates to keep the cave safe from all kinds of creatures. (man being the main one)
Once in the cave if you happen to shine your light in the right spot you will see a bat clinging to the ceiling, or a wall.
The guide will ask you what formations are in the cave, and if nobody knows he/she will tell you. The guide will also tell you about the history of the cave.
You will find out about the water in the cave, and what the water does to and for the cave.
The guide will explain how long it takes to make some of these formations.
You will also hear some of the tales that have been passed down from generation to generation.
You will learn about some of the cities found inside the cave, such as the one below.
If your in the tri state area (ky,tn,&va) you will be glad you forked over the $8 to see this awesome piece of history. Here is a picture of us as we exited the cave a couple weeks ago.