A celebration of a new piece of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Hefner Gap Overlook at milepost 326 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Overmountain Trail preserves and commemorates the route used by patriot militia in the 1780 campaign that led to victory over loyalist forces led by Maj. Patrick Ferguson at the key battle of Kings Mountain. Working with a variety of partners, the National Park Service 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 Sept. 29, 1780, this section of historic roadway saw the passage of hundreds of patriot militia on horseback heading east through Hefner Gap and toward 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 Oct. 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 segment. In April of this year, the land was conveyed to the state Wildlife Resources Commission.
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.