This method of following Boone Trace is probably the most effort free, because all the traveler has to do is follow the arrow on the GPS device. However, it is suggested that you read this section before just plugging it in and going, because there are some off-shoots and u-turns to visit some of the points of interest that could be confusing. It was produced on a MacIntosh computer and works perfectly on a Garmin 660 motorcycle device. It has not been totally field tested on TomTom and all devices, but we are working on that and would appreciate feed back of any problems encountered that we can rectify.
There is a northern route (Boone Trace North) that begins at Martin Station about 8 miles east of Cumberland Gap over into Virginia. It proceeds in a northerly direction, as did Daniel Boone, through the Gap and on up to Boonesboro. The southern route (Boone Trace South) begins at Fort Boonesboro and proceeds in a southerly direction and ends up at Martin Station.
The specific caveats of the trip that the traveler should be aware of heading in a northerly direction are as follows:
- James Boone burial site marker. The route of 1775 technically begins at Martin Station for us, but this is a nearby marker of interest. It marks the site where Daniel Boone's oldest son, James, was killed by Indians on an earlier trip in 1773. It can be found by turning left out of the Wilderness Road State Park (Martin Station) onto Hwy 58 going east about 3 miles to State Rd 684 (Horay Rd) on the right. About 200 yards on Horay, the marker can be found up on the fence line on the right.
- After leaving Martin Station and approaching the Cumberland Gap, the GPS will lead the traveler to the backside of the Gap where you can leave your vehicle and walk on the actual dirt path of Boone Trace to the east. Walking left will lead to the "saddle" of the Gap. Returning to the vehicle, the GPS will back track out to Hwy 58 through the tunnel.
- After going through the tunnel, the GPS will not lead to the visitor's center to avoid confusion, but it is strongly recommended to pull off the route and take advantage of the center. It is a national park center with very smart and helpful park rangers to give guidance. They can give directions to the "saddle of the gap" which is about a 45 minute hike and the "Pinnacle" which about a 45 minute drive up a switch-back road to the top of the mountain to visualize the Gap from above.
- Levi Jackson State Park. Just south of London, the GPS will lead the route off Hwy 229 into the park to the back where another actual dirt trail of Boone Trace can be walked. It is about a 10 minute walk and has a stone marker on one end and a DAR marker on the other. Also, in this location is the site of the "McNitt Defeat" where 24 members of a family were massacred by Indians, one of the worst tragedies ever to occur on The Trace. The GPS will then backtrack out again onto Hwy 229 and on north.
- Just north of Barbourville, the GPS will turn left on to Emmanuel Loop Rd. If on a motorcycle, it might be wise to bypass this segment, because about 1.1 miles of it is gravel, uphill in the northerly direction (or west) and downhill (dreaded) in the southerly direction. Proceeding past this intersection on US 25E, an alternative completely paved route, which is incredibly scenic, is State Rd 1232. The road sign is tiny and close to an electric company with a large sign giving the appearance of a quilt. Another alternative route would be just to proceed on US 25E to Gray and and turn right onto Hwy 233 which would put you back on Boone Trace.
- Twetty's Fort. Just south of Richmond, the GPS will lead into a left turn on to Duncannon Rd for 0.9 mile and then turn right into the Golden Leaf subdivision. In about 1/4 mile, Cady Drive will dead-end into this street coming from the right (east). Just opposite this intersection with Cady is a gravel road heading west which leads to the Twetty's Fort site lying in a clump of trees about 200 yards off the road and identified by a marker. It is suggested to walk to this site as the road in quite rough. The GPS will then double back out of the subdivision onto Duncannon Rd and again on north.
- Points of interest along the way will appear as blue flags on a Garmin device which are explained in more detail at other locations of this web-site. "Via points" (fixation points along the roadway) appear as yellow flags and are placed every several miles. They are announced on the audio and can be annoying but do give the traveler some assurance with relative frequency that he/she is on the right track, which can become fairly tedious at times. Finally, a few turns that could be difficult or cause some confusion are called "Tricky Turns" and are marked with red flags. Approach these with more caution and follow the GPS directions carefully.
- Please Click Here for GARMIN downloadable Maps
- Please Click Here for TOMTOM downloadable Maps
If traveling south from Boonesborough, these instructions will be in reverse order.