(Pinnacle Overlook) A Maze of Mountains:
The Cumberland Mountains on which you stand are only one link in a great chain of ridges and valleys that stretch 900 miles from New England to Alabama. The Appalachian wilderness was a 150-mile-wide wall for settlers looking west in the late 1700s.
Nature provided only three good routes for a mass migration through the maze; the Mohawk Valley, in upstate New York, the Potomac's passage that linked the Chesapeake to the Ohio valley, and the Gap you see below. For some 300,000 pioneers from the mid-Atlantic and southern states, this was the best road west.