Cycling Cumberland Gap
Ride 3.2 miles gaining 1,232’ at 7.3% average grade.
Climb summary by PJAMM ambassador Dan Razum, San Jose, California.
This is a nice climb in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, with great views at the top. There is a large parking area at the Visitors Center near the base of the climb and it is probably best to start the climb there. If you come from Middlesboro it is possible to bike to the climb, which would include about a quarter of a mile riding on Route 25E, which is a very busy 4 lane highway with lots of traffic. From the east it is not possible to bike to the climb because you cannot bike through the Cumberland Gap Tunnel on Rte 25E.
From the Visitors Center parking lot (there is no entrance fee to the park) it is about a quarter mile to the base of the climb, a short little warm up. We ride through a thick forest the entire way. There are some steep sections and several switchback curves, all which keep the ride varied and interesting. Partway up there is a nice view towards the west, which is worth checking out because the overlook view at the top does not show this direction.
When we reach the top there is another large parking lot, but there aren't any views from the parking lot. On the left side there is a pavilion with restrooms and a trail going to the Pinnacle Overlook but there are stairs on the trail. If we ride around the parking lot there is another path to the overlook with no stairs and we can ride this path 600 ft to the overlook. From the overlook there are sweeping views of the tri-state area. It is worth doing the climb just for the views at the overlook.