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One of only two state parks operated by two states collectively, Breaks Interstate Park is nestled at the border between Kentucky and Virginia. This historic area in the Jefferson National Forrest is home to some of the oldest rock formations and river valleys in the world. Daniel Boone is credited with being the first non-Native American to explore this area, which is home to the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi River. The visitors center includes a number of exhibits about the history of the area, including the Native American inhabitants, the early Appalachian settlers, logging and other industries, and the creation of the park.


  • Now home to one of only two parks operated by multiple state governmental agencies, Breaks Interstate Park was home to Native tribes prior to the arrival of Daniel Boone and other explorers, trappers, and pioneers.
Archaeological evidence suggests that this area was covered by a vast ocean until the water receded around 180 million years ago. At that time, plant life fed by sunlight and water from rivers that carved out the current gorge and associated valleys created vast area suitable for plant and animal life. Native people arrived in the area and flourished until the arrival of Europeans, the first of whom was none other than Daniel Boone. According to records, Boone referred to this area as "the Breaks" owing to its location and being the only navigable pass in the Pine Mountains. 


Our History. Breaks Interstate Park. Accessed March 12, 2015. http://www.breakspark.com/park-information-hours/our-history/.