Across Virginia

Wilderness Road State Park

Wilderness Road State Park
Photo Credit: Virginia Dept. Conservation & Recreation

In 1775, Daniel Boone followed a buffalo trail and created a route that would become known as Wilderness Road.

Today, a state park in southwestern Virginia of the same name runs alongside Boone’s route and provides a glimpse into the past. Visitors can trace the historic trail as they enjoy hiking, cycling and other activities.

Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing has many amenities that are typical of other Virginia state parks, but it also has something special that other parks do not.

Visitors will find 10 miles of hiking trails that run through the park as well as bike and horse trails. What makes this park special, however, is that it is also home to a living history museum. It allows visitors to see what life was like in this area hundreds of years ago.

A replica of a Colonial fort stands in the footprint of where the original once stood. Costumed interpreters help to bring life in early America into clear view. Explore the fort, chat with the costumed guides and learn about the country’s history as you enjoy the lush landscape and beauty of the park.

As mentioned above, a winding bike trail goes through the park. Bike rental is available. The Indian Ridge Trail is another of the park’s trails. A gift shop and visitor center is also located in Wilderness Road State Park, and both help to enhance your visit.

The Karlan Mansion, which was constructed in 1877, is another memorable feature of this state park. The mansion is available for rent for special occasions such as family reunions and weddings.

Educational programs are available from time to time. Some of the programs focus on history while others cover environmental topics. Such programs are not available on a regular basis, so be sure to call ahead to see what will be available during your visit.

No cabins or established campsites are available at this park, but primitive camping is allowed. Reservations are required and can be made at the visitor center. You are allowed to include pets in your camping experience, but a fee will be assessed for each pet.

Wilderness Road State Park Basics

  • Parking: $2 weekdays, $3 weekends
  • Handicap accessible: Some of the trails and other parts of the park are handicap accessible.
  • Public bathrooms: Yes
  • Located near the border of Kentucky at the intersections of Routes 58 and 923
  • Activities include bike, hiking and horse trails and visiting the living history museum portion of the park

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