Monday, December 28, 2015

Cumberland Gap Field Trip

Even though homeschooling is technically out right now for Christmas break, learning never really stops around here! ;)

Before starting our break, the last person Big Brother had read about in history was Daniel Boone. Since we live in Kentucky, this part of American history is especially interesting to us.

Daniel Boone is best known for exploring and settling Kentucky. He paved the way for thousands of pioneers to move west through the Cumberland Gap.

Cumberland Gap is now a beautiful National Park. While making our annual trip to visit family in the region, we decided to take a field trip there.

There is a nice visitor's center at the park, and there are no admission fees whatsoever. We enjoyed browsing through the small museum and gift shop. There is a theater upstairs where we watched 2 different short films.

The first film was about the natural phenomena of the Cumberland Gap itself. Other than several references to "millions of years," this film was interesting.

The second film was more about Daniel Boone and the historical significance of Cumberland Gap. Big Brother really enjoyed this film the most. (This film did depict some violence, and some children might find the scenes where Boone's sons are killed disturbing. Big Brother had already read about these events and was expecting to see them depicted. Just use your own judgement here.)

Outside there was a real Civil War canon. We learned that during the Civil War, both armies at one time or other controlled Cumberland Gap as it was a very strategic location. But there were no major battles fought there.

There are all kinds of hiking trails in the park, and visitors can actually walk some of the original trails used by Boone and the pioneers. We did not have time to do this, but we did make a quick drive up to the Pinnacle Overlook to see the amazing view of Cumberland Gap and the surrounding towns and scenery from its height. It was absolutely beautiful!!!

I love how homeschooling really allows us the freedom to explore Big Brother's interests this way...even when "school" is out!!!

For more information about Cumberland Gap, or to start planning a fun field trip of your own, click here

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