Hobo celebrates Cumberland Gap NHP

Howard Baker - RN BSN

Hobo the Wonder Dog and I have joined in the celebration of the National Park Service’s centennial year. The first stop on our tour is the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Middlesboro, Kentucky. Growing up in the Cumberland Gap area enriched my life with memories, experiences and a deeper appreciation of our National Park Service. True to my belief that life is better with a dog, I sat out on a journey to visit the National Parks within a day’s drive. I hope to inspire others to celebrate the park aervice’s 100th birthday with us and your dog.

The Cumberland Gap is rich in history from the stories of legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone, the Cherokee and Shawnee Indians, to Dr. Thomas Walker to name a few. I am not a historian of Cumberland Gap history but a strong advocate of experiencing the beauty and history of the region. The park offers hiking trails from a quarter mile to adventures into the backcountry. Whether you come to hike or explore, the Cumberland Gap gives you the opportunity to step back in time and experience the beauty and the abundance of wildlife that enticed frontiersman and settlers alike to the Cumberland Gap. From the Pinnacle Overlook to the Iron Furnace, the park offers something for everyone to explore.

Hobo and I had the pleasure of hiking the two-mile fitness trail with Park Superintendent Sula Jacobs and Park Ranger Carol Borneman. We traveled to the park to learn firsthand their policies for hiking with your dog in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Leashed dogs are welcome in the park. Remember, when you are in public with your dog you represent all dog owners and the park is no different. Dogs must be under control at all times, on a leash no longer than six feet, excrement disposed of in a trash receptacle or removed into the wood line at least 15 feet from any public use area. Be good stewards for all dog owners — its simple control your dog and leave nothing on the trail except paw prints. I advocate having good manners, social skills and basic obedience for your dog. Mastering the basics ensures a pleasurable time is had by all as it opens a world to explore and enjoy with your dog.

Hobo the Wonder Dog loved his experience in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Hobo gives the park five wags for their pet policies and offering of dog themed events or opportunities. We found the park staff enthusiastic about having dogs and their families enjoying the park. From hiking to camping, Fido is welcome to join in the adventure.


The city of Cumberland Gap is one of the most pet-friendly places we have traveled. Art galleries, specialty shops, souvenirs and antiques offer something for everyone in this small historic town. Hobo prowled around Gertie’s Commissary of antiques and old stuff — an interesting store, friendly staff.


Middlesboro and Cumberland Gap offer pet-friendly dining in outside areas:

· Angelo’s in the Gap — Italian restaurant and pub, large outdoor deck area for dogs;

· Gap Creek Coffee House — coffee, food, ice cream and more outdoor, creek side area for dogs;

· The Pineapple Tea Room & Coffee Shoppe, outside area for dogs; and

· Shades Café & Steakhouse downtown Middlesboro, outside courtyard pet-friendly.


· Cumberland Gap Inn, downtown Cumberland Gap;

· Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (campgrounds); and

· Pine Mountain State Resort Park (limited pet availability) cabin rentals.

The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and the area offer great opportunities for you and the whole family to enjoy. Whether you live in the area or you travel to the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park there’s an adventure awaiting you. Watching your dog’s nose work smelling the different scents of nature is an adventure all its own. No matter your interest you are limited only by your imagination, so come celebrate our National Park Service’s 100th birthday here at home with Hobo the Wonder Dog. With more than 85 miles of scenic hiking trails filled with wildlife, plants and sounds, escape to a national treasure in your backyard — the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

Visit www.hobothewonderdog.com for pictures of Hobo enjoying the Cumberland Gap National Park. Life is better with a dog!

Hobo is a rescue dog out to make a difference in animal rescue and education. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact him at: [email protected]

Howard Baker


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