Hey, speaking of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park—check out this list of “America’s Undiscovered National Parks and Monuments” that popped up on MSN’s front page today. Cumberland Gap is the fourth one featured.
I’m not sure the Gap is as obscure as they’re making it out to be. The crowds aren’t anything like what you’ll run into in the Smokies or the Grand Canyon, but I don’t think I’ve ever had the view at the Pinnacle to myself, and the Visitor Center is always full enough. If they really wanted to feature some “undiscovered” parks, I can think of a lot of neglected battlefields that would’ve benefited from the attention.
As you browse through the list, note the emphasis on nature and scenery, rather than history. The Gap is one of the few “historical” parks that made the cut, and it’s just about the only item in the list where the description focuses as much on what happened there as on the ambience.
All this raises some interesting questions about the place of heritage tourism in travel writing.