Wilderness Road Inn

Historical Marker #927, located on Highway 229 in Laurel County just south of Levi Jackson State Park, commemorates the site of a tavern which once stood on the historic Wilderness Road. This marker also serves as an identifier of the Boone Trace because of the close proximity of the two roads.

Boone Trace, opened in 1775 into what was to become Kentucky, is situated on the west side of the park. The Wilderness Road evolved out of Boone Trace after Kentucky became a state in 1792. This route was officially designated the Wilderness Road in 1796, and is located on park property on the east side of Highway 229. The two historic roads—Boone Trace and the Wilderness Road—cross about two miles north of the park where the Little Laurel River traverses the road.

At this location one of the few remaining actual segments of Boone Trace can be walked by a traveler. This portion of Boone Trace is located on the west side of the park and is indicated by a 1942 Laurel County stone marker on the southern end, and a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) marker, placed in 1915, on the northern end. Seven stone markers were placed in Laurel County by the Laurel County Historical Society to mark Boone Trace in 1942, which was the 150th anniversary of the Kentucky's statehood. Fourteen markers placed by the DAR in 1915 also mark Boone Trace, indicating that at least twice in the last century two separate organizations realized the historic significance of Boone Trace and wanted to recognize its importance.

In addition, located in the park is the site of the McNitt Defeat, one of the most tragic events ever to occur along Boone Trace. In 1786, twenty-four members of the McNitt family were attacked by Native Americans and killed. Legend says that a pregnant pioneer managed to escape the attack, crawled into the hollow of a tree, delivered her baby, and survived. Today, the tree site is identified, and a cemetery marks the location where members of the family were buried.

Images

Boone Trace in Laurel County

Boone Trace in Laurel County

An actual segment of the original dirt path of Boone Trace at Levi Jackson State Park is shown here. A Laurel County stone marker was placed here to mark Boone Trace in 1942, which was 150th anniversary of Kentucky's statehood in 1792. Courtesy of Friends of Boone Trace, Inc. View File Details Page

McNitt Cemetery

McNitt Cemetery

McNitt Cemetery is located at Levi Jackson State Park. Buried here are the victims of a Native American attack that occurred along Boone Trace on October 3, 1786. Courtesy of Friends of Boone Trace, Inc. View File Details Page

Historic Stump

Historic Stump

This sign marks the site of tree stump at Levi Jackson State Park where a pregnant woman of the McNitt party escaped the Native American attack in 1786. She crawled into the hollow of a tree, delivered her baby, and survived. 24 other members of the party were killed. Courtesy of Friends of Boone Trace, Inc. View File Details Page

Wilderness Road

Wilderness Road

Shown here is a segment of the original Wilderness Road, which is located on the east side of Levi Jackson State Park a short distance from the Wilderness Road Inn marker. Courtesy of Friends of Boone Trace, Inc. View File Details Page

Defeated Camp Burial Ground

Defeated Camp Burial Ground

In 1786, more than ten years after route had been first marked, the McNitt party was attacked by Native Americans along Boone Trace at their camp. All 24 victims were buried in two mass graves. A 1915 DAR plaque is near the burial ground and marks the original Boone Trace. Courtesy of Randell Jones, www.danielboonefootstep.com View File Details Page

Boone Trace Hiking Trail

Boone Trace Hiking Trail

A 1915 DAR plaque is near the McNitt Party burial ground and marks the original Boone Trace. This trail remnant can be walked today. It is located at Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park. Courtesy of Randell Jones, www.danielboonefootsteps.com View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Friends of Boone Trace, Inc., “Wilderness Road Inn,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 26, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/410.

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