Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky is the second site commemorated in 2016 with a U.S. quarter. It is the 32nd of 56 coins from the program of United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter
Here is an image of the reverse or tails side of the Cumberland Gap quarter for Kentucky

Here are some important dates and events for Kentucky’s 2016 Cumberland Gap Quarter:

  • its release into general circulation on April 4, 2016;
  • its availability in U.S. Mint-branded rolls and bags at www.usmint.gov, also on April 4, 2016; and
  • its official launch ceremony by the U.S. Mint and the National Park Service at the park’s visitor center on Monday, April 11, 2016 at 11 a.m. ET.

U.S. Mint-hosted coin forums precede launch ceremonies. The Mint’s forum is held on April 10 from 3 to 4 p.m. at the C.V. Whitney Convention Center, Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Pineville, Kentucky. Also, coin exchanges are held immediately after launch ceremonies. They offer an opportunity to swap cash for $10 rolls of new quarters.

Barbara Fox designed and Joseph Menna sculpted the reverse or tails side of the Cumberland Gap Quarter. It was selected from among 5 candidates. The design depicts a frontiersman gazing across the mountains to the West. Many pioneers used Cumberland Gap on their journey into the western frontiers of Kentucky and Tennessee. Surrounding the design are inscriptions of CUMBERLAND GAP, FIRST DOORWAY TO THE WEST, KENTUCKY, 2016 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Obverses or heads side of every America the Beautiful Quarter share the same image, a portrait of George Washington as designed by John Flanagan.

These same obverse and reverse designs are also on a series of bullion and collector 3-inch diameter, 5-ounce silver coins, also from the U.S. Mint.

Earlier in 2016, the Shawnee National Forest Quarter for Illinois was introduced. Following the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter are the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter for West Virginia, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter for North Dakota, and the Fort Moultrie Quarter for South Carolina.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Information

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is located at the border between Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. It honors a site where long ago, Native Americans and settlers traveled through a break in the Appalachian Mountains. In 1940, Cumberland Gap was declared a national park in Kentucky as it was the path traveled to reach western lands in the United States during the expansion of the country in the 1800’s.

After the American Revolutionary War, people wanted to settle further west, and used the gap to get past the treacherous Appalachian Mountains. Eventually a rail-road system went through the gap, and during the Civil War, it had strategic value, as both the North and South tried to gain control of the Cumberland Gap.

Today, the Cumberland Gap is a historical park that greets about one million visitors a year. There are many trails and scenic spots throughout the park, such as Pinnacle overlook, which has an excellent view of the gap.