I cannot conceive of anyone passing this way who will not avail himself of taking this trail to the top of Pinnacle Mountain...there will be many pilgrimages...[to] this historic spot... The beauty of the mountains, the spirit of the pioneer and the patriotic fervor have a unity of appeal found nowhere else in America.
Myers Cooper, Governor of Ohio, at the dedication of Skyland Highway, June 4, 1929
Pinnacle Mountain's Skyland Highway paved the way to create a National Park.
Called "an engineering marvel" when it first opened in 1929, Skyland Highway provided an easy drive to stunning views.
Sightseers in the 1930s climbed a wooden platform to enjoy what the Sky Land Company called "the Garden of Gazes."
In the late 1940s widespread support for a national park at Cumberland Gap steadily grew as vacation travel boomed after World War II.
From the 1890s on, nearby Chimney Rock was a popular day-trip destination for excursionists coming up from Middlesboro.
The Dixie Highway
In the early 20th century vacationers wanted to "see America first" - by car. Motor enthusiasts joined clubs like the Dixie Highway Association. From 1915 to 1927, the Association encouraged states to pave a system of roads so that motorists could drive all the way from Ontario south to Miami. The Dixie Highway introduced tens of thousands of travelers from across the nation to Cumberland Gap.