Wilderness Road State Park
Ewing, VA

Park Size: About 310 acres

HISTORY:
Wilderness Road State Park is in a geographically and historically significant region of Virginia. The park lies astride the Wilderness Road that winds down Powell's Valley. In 1775, Daniel Boone carved the Wilderness Road, and by 1800 more than 300,000 settlers traveled the Wilderness Road westward through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky and the Midwest. It was originally settled by Joseph Martin, who arrived there on March 26, 1769, after a difficult journey. After an attack that fall by Native American warriors, Martin abandoned the station but returned in earnest in January 1775. Click here to visit the Friends of Wilderness Road's website, which provides historic details about Martin's Station.

Wilderness Road State Park was originally part of a farm owned by Robert M. Ely. The mansion was built in the late 1870s, and several generations of Ely descendants lived there. The surrounding rural area still bears the name Elydale after the Ely family.

In the 1940s, the mansion and surrounding property were purchased by Karl and Ann Harris. Even though the mansion was renovated several times, the basic structure of the house remains the same.

Wilderness Road Trail bisects Wilderness Road State Park. Visitors may park cars and horse trailers at the park to access the trail. The trail connects the park with the campgrounds at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, six miles away.

THINGS TO DO:
Karlan Mansion is unfurnished but may be rented for special events.

Bikes can be rented to ride the Wilderness Road Trail, an eight-mile multi-purpose trail that passes through the park.

The park also has the Indian Ridge Trail, which is a self-guided trail, and offers interpretive and environmental educational programs.

The LEED-compliant, state-of-the-art visitor center has a movie theater and the Powder Horn Gift Shop. The theatre showcases Spirit of a Nation, which depicts the history of the Wilderness Road. Many 18th century replica items, as well as art, snacks and refreshments, can be bought in the gift shop. Memorial Day through Labor Day, the center's hours are from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. It's open 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. the rest of the year. Public restrooms are available.

Snacks and other merchandise are available year-round at the Powder Horn Gift Shop in the visitor center.

The park offers primitive group camping for groups of up to 50.

Wilderness Road Trail, a 10-mile hiking, biking and equestrian trail. Indian Ridge Trail, a self-guided, natural heritage trail.

Seasonal monthly programs, schools, environmental and nature education programs, and living history discussions. Raid at Martin's Station (re-enactment), May, sponsored by Friends of Wilderness Road State Park.

Historic Martin's Station, an outdoor living history museum with daily first-person living history programs. A full-size sand volleyball court and two horseshoe pitching areas near the picnic shelters, all free of charge.

CONTACT INFO: 
Wilderness Road State Park
8051 Wilderness Road
Ewing, Va. 24248
Phone: (276) 445-3065
wildernessroad@dcr.virginia.gov

LOCATION: At the intersection of Routes 58 (Wilderness Road) and 923 (Martin's Station Trail), five miles west of Ewing, Va., and 10 miles east of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middlesboro, Ky.

Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs@dcr.virginia.gov.

Visit at: www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/wil.shtml