Wilderness Road Blockhouse at Natural Tunnel

The Wilderness Road Blockhouse, located at Natural Tunnel State Park, is a replica of all of the blockhouses that were manned by the Holston Militia during the frontier conflict between the Indians and settlers. Blockhouses were assembly points for thousands who used the Wilderness Trail to venture into the wilds of Kentucky. There was no blockhouse during that period at the Natural Tunnel site, but similar structures included the John Anderson Blockhouse in East Carter’s Valley.

The Anderson Blockhouse was built circa 1775 and functioned as a collecting place for individual pioneers until a party of sufficient size was assembled to make the passage down the Wilderness Trail.  It was the last contact with the Holston Settlements.  Once Daniel Boone had gathered his 30 ax men at the Blockhouse, he started his trek to blaze the trail into Kentucky, and forevermore lend his name to what had been known as either the Great Warriors’ Path or as the Wilderness Trail. 

Natural Tunnel hosts Revolutionary era reenactors in period dress, custom and manner each year giving a taste of pioneer life on the Western frontier. Experience period merchants and craftsmen, an Indian encampment and various trades of the Revolutionary War era.