More than 200 years ago hundreds of patriot militia on horseback crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains to play a role in the battle at Kings Mountain. This week that section of trail will be officially certified as part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.
Officials from the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway will preside over a public ceremony officially recognizing the designation on Thursday, September 29 at 3 p.m. at the Hefner Gap Overlook, Parkway milepost 326.
The OVNHT preserves and commemorates the route used by patriot militia in their 1780 campaign that led to victory over loyalist forces led by Major Patrick Ferguson at the key battle of Kings Mountain. Working with a variety of partners, the National Park Service, as administrating agency for the trail, continues to identify trail segments and open them up for public use. The newly opened 1.3-mile section of pathway is actually an original part of the route and is a roadbed that is centuries old.
On September 29, 1780, this section of historic roadway saw the passage of hundreds of patriot militia on horseback heading east through Hefner Gap and towards North Cove. Led by Colonels John Sevier and Issac Shelby, these Overmountain men had come from frontier settlements in present day east Tennessee some days previously. They would play a key role in the victory at Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780.
In 2008, the Conservation Trust for North Carolina was able to purchase the 534 acre Rose Creek tract, preserving land that borders the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as containing the newly certified OVNHT segment. In April of this year, the land was conveyed to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, which has worked with NPS officials to have the trail section certified.
The event is free and open to the public. Members of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association in period colonial dress will participate.
In the event of inclement weather, the program will be held at the nearby covered pavilion at the Historic Orchard at Altapass, located at Parkway milepost 328.3.