The Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail State Park, a Tennessee scenic hiking trail, became Tennessee’s 53rd state park in 1998. It is Tennessee’s first linear park, cutting through 11 Tennessee counties. In 2002, the park was renamed for Justin P. Wilson in honor of his work to help make the vision of the Cumberland Trail a reality. Wilson was Tennessee’s Deputy Governor from 1996-2003 and currently serves as the state’s Comptroller.
The Cumberland Trail follows a line of pristine high ridges and deep gorges lying along Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. The state is continuing to partner with the Cumberland Trail Conference (CTC), an associate organization of the Tennessee Trails Association, and other volunteers to solicit public and private support for acquisition of additional land along the trail. Once completed, the hiking trail will extend 282 miles from Cumberland Gap, on the Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky border to the Tennessee River gorge, on the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia border.
At Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the Cumberland Trail joins the National Park Trail System and Kentucky’s Pine Mountain Trail.
The Cumberland Trail wanders among the remnants of the Cumberland Mountains that once rose as high as the Rockies. The trail represented a barrier to all who dared push through storied gaps westward onto and over the Cumberland Plateau. It now provides a linkage north to south, forming natural connections and opportunities for scenic vistas and curious geological formations. Several hiking trail segments, totaling more than 185 miles, are now complete and ready to hike.