Wilderness Road State Park will host their second annual Community Appreciation Open House on Saturday, September 11 with a free lunch and a day full of entertainment beginning at 8:00 am. The highlight of the event will be a special evening program at 7:00 pm, featuring the life of frontier legend Daniel Boone as Scott New returns to Historic Martin’s Station to reprise his role as the folk hero in a Kentucky Chautauqua program through the Kentucky Humanities. The event is free of all charges with the community encouraged to come out and enjoy their state park.
By the time of his death in 1820, Daniel Boone had already become a legend. Much of what Americans think they know about this great frontiersman is in some instances, off the mark. “Neither a backwoods bumpkin nor an epic slayer of Indians, Boone was an intrepid explorer and natural leader whose actual exploits easily justify his larger-than-life reputation,” explains the Kentucky Humanities Council. “And he never wore a coonskin cap!”
Scott New has portrayed Boone in films and other venues, such as Wilderness Road State Park, Colonial Williamsburg and now Boonesborough Ky. For more than 10 years Scott has followed his lifelong interest by interpreting the Kentucky frontier and early American history. “Scott (New) is a tremendous interpreter, showman, teacher and friend” stated park concessions manager Mike Brindle. “I have known Scott for more than 8 years and I consider him to be one of the best interpreters I have witnessed and an expert on Daniel Boone.
The program will focus on Boone’s experience as a longhunter and trailblazer, with New utilizing first-hand account dialogue in his presentation. “The program will be conducted in first-person perspective, meaning Scott will speak, act and take on the demeanor of Daniel Boone, himself,” explained Brindle. “If you ask him a modern-day question, he will not know the answer. When he is in character in the program, he is Daniel Boone.”
In appreciation for the local community’s support in helping Wilderness Road State Park enjoy another wonderful year, the park will offer a full day of entertainment along with a free hotdog lunch at 12:20 pm. The day begins when the park grounds open at 8:00 am with programs slated to begin at 10:00 am. The programs will feature history and nature activities as well as an Amazing Race using GPS (Global Positioning System) units.
“This Park belongs to the people of the Commonwealth and we are pleased to have an opportunity to show our appreciation with a day of fun, food and activities, free of charge, to our extended community.” explained Wilderness Road State Park Manager Jon Tustin.
One program sure to generate lots of interest is Stories in Stone presented by Cumberland Gap National Historical Park interpreter Scott Teodorski. Join Teodorski and step back in time to see and hear what our rock formations tell us about our land’s history, its makeup and events that shaped our region’s past.
Ever wonder what lurks in the layers of sandstone and limestone that have been thrust through the top of the ground as a result of the Earth’s plates slamming into one another? Ever wonder what rocks would tell us if they could talk? Teodorski will attempt to interpret what the rocks are telling us by studying their structure, chemical makeup and the fossils they contain.
“I think at some point in time, most of us that grew up in this area have played and climbed on rocks. And we probably have all turned over a few rocks just to see what was under them or what they looked like,” explained Mike Brindle, concessions manager at Wilderness Road State Park. “This program will take us back to that time, and allow us to find out exactly what these rocks, rock formations and cliffs have to tell us about an ancient world forgotten, but preserved in stone.”
Teodorski concluded with: “Come out and listen to these stories in stone and see how ancient earth-changing forces still chart the journey of modern explorers.” This activity will be held at 2:00 pm in the picnic area.
Welcoming ceremonies will be conducted at 12 noon. A free hotdog lunch complete with chips, drinks and a dessert treat, will get underway at 12:30 pm at shelter #3.
A new addition to the park’s offerings is the Cumberland Outpost, located behind the Visitor Center, which opened this summer offering ice cream, candy, snacks and drinks. It also serves as a nature center. The Outpost will be open throughout the Open House celebration.
Historic Martin’s Station will open at 10:00 am. The theme for the weekend is “frontier frolic” illustrating how settlers eased the tension of living along a frontier that could be both grim and dangerous.
Tours of the Karlan Mansion will be conducted at 11:00 am and 4:15 pm by Frances Robertson Inwood. Francis is a descendant of Robert and Susan Ely who built the home in 1877-78. “Frances has so many pictures and information that help tell the history of this building,” explained Brindle. “Now she wants to share this wealth of information with the public.” Those wishing to join the tour are asked to meet at the front porch of the mansion at least five minutes prior to the start of the tour.
Other programs and activities slated for the day include: A nature hike (10:00 am), an 18th century artillery demonstration (12:30 pm) and children’s entertainment by Wilderness Wilma the Clown (1:30 pm). Live music by Tazewell Pike and Ken Wilson will entertain guests from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm near the Cumberland Outpost. The very popular “Critters in the Creek” program takes place at 3:00 pm. At 4:00 pm, a historical first-person program will be conducted at Martin’s Station.
The annual horseshoe tournament begins at 2:00pm at Shelter #3. The popular event from a year ago returns with prizes to be awarded to the winning two-man team. Teams wishing to enter the tournament are asked to meet at Shelter #3 at 1:30 pm.
Based on the popular reality television show, The Amazing Race, the park will conduct its own Amazing Race scavenger hunt at 5:30 pm using GPS units. Each 4-6 person team will hike, walk, dig and climb to locate clues which will lead them to the final puzzle. The team solving their puzzle first will win a cache of prizes. Pre-registration is required for the Amazing Race game. To register a team, please call the park office at 276-445-3065.
“The staff at Wilderness Road State Park is enthusiastically looking forward to welcoming the community to enjoy and explore the wonderful resources and activities here at the park,” concluded Tustin
The event is being sponsored by Powell Valley Bank and the Friends of Wilderness Road State Park. For more information, please contact the park by phone: 276-445-3065.