Berwind Gap

Third Stop: Berwind Gap

At Berwind, turn left onto CR-9/1 and climb into the gap in the mountain westward of Dry Fork. 

Berwind Gap is part of a 24-mile long geological rift that follows a northwestern course from Bishop, Virginia to the headwaters of Panther Creek.  At five locations along its course, the rift has formed low gaps in otherwise very high, knife-edged ridges.  These low gaps provided convenient crossover points for Indians and large game animals, like Bison, that once were abundant in this region.  This particular gap allowed the enemy Shawnee warriors to avoid a very rough portion of the Dry Fork valley, thus saving their stolen horses from overexertion and possibly death.

Expedition Voices

Capt. William Preston recorded of the army’s passing through Berwind Gap:

“Monday 1st of March (1756).  This morning I see Lightning at nine oClock.  We marched & in four miles we left the Creek to the eastward passed a gap in a high Ridge & came upon a Branch which we encamped upon in a Large Bent & in a very Inconvenient place.”

Expedition Voices

Capt. Preston’s recorded on March 6: “The Cherrokees proposed to make bark canoes to cary themselves down the river which was imediatly put in practice. Major Lewis set men to work to make a large canoe to cary down the ammunition & the small remains of our flour which was thin [then] almost exhausted.”

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