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Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
Roan Mountain, the trail's highest point.
Length 214 mi (344 km)
Location Southeast United States
Designation National Historic Trail (1980)
Trailheads Elizabethton, Tennessee
Kings Mountain National Military Park
Use Hiking, Motor Route, Historical Reenactment
Highest point Roan Mountain
Lowest point Watauga River
Hiking details
Months late September to mid October
Sights Blue Ridge Mountains
Doe River
Fort Watauga
Hazards river crossing
partial motor route
Website /

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVHT) is part of the U.S. National Trails System. It recognizes the Revolutionary War Overmountain Men, Patriots from what is now East Tennessee who crossed the Great Smoky Mountains and then fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.


  • Location 1
  • History 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The OVHT follows the route from Rutherford County, North Carolina, the trail follows the approximate location of Rock Road through the Gilbert Town Historic District.[2]

Fifty-seven miles (92 km) of OVHT are officially developed for public use, and development continues on the remaining sections. The official sections of the trail were established through agreements with current landowners and often have overlapping designations. All officially certified segments are identified through the use of signs displaying the trail logo (an Overmountain man in profile on a brown and white triangle) or a white triangular blaze.

A parallel Commemorative Motor Route travels along state highways and, in some stretches, actually travels over the old historic roadway.

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is a cooperative effort of the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Overmountain Victory Trail Association, local governments, local citizens' associations, local historical societies and the states of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.


U.S. President Jimmy Carter

In anticipation of both the upcoming Appalachian mountain trails and highways closely following the path of the actual 1780 march to the battle site located near present day Kings Mountain, North Carolina, on the North Carolina-South Carolina border.

Hikers, military reenactors, and scouts have long followed the segments of the famous overmountain victory trail, and in 1975 three Elizabethton boy scouts were among those who completed the first re-enactment of the overmountain march (approximately 214 miles in one direction) from Elizabethton to King's Mountain and were met at a ceremony by U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller at the Kings Mountain National Military Park near Blacksburg, South Carolina.

Many of these same OVT hikers, reenactors, and area citizens later sought federal recognition of the overmountain march to the Battle of King's Mountain as being analogous to the spontaneous response of the patriot Minutemen at Lexington and Concord during the American Revolutionary War.

OVT supporters worked with representatives of other American trails to create what became known as the National Trails System and later carried scrolls petitioning Congress for national designation of the OVT route. The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail was officially designated as a national historic trail during September 1980 by federal legislation authorized by the U.S. Congress, and later in 1980, President Jimmy Carter—recognizing the historical significance of the frontier patriots marching over the Appalachian Mountains to defeat the Loyalist army at the Battle of King's Mountain—signed federal law designating the historical overmountain route as the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, the first National Historic Trail established within the eastern United States exactly 200 years after the event it commemorates.[3][4]

See also


  1. ^ "Official site". Abingdon Munster Grounds. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Philip Thomason and Steven D. Smith (February 2006). "Gilbert Town Historic District" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-02-01. 
  3. ^ Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (U.S. National Park Service)
  4. ^ Overmountain Victory Trail Association

External links

  • The National Park Service: Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
  • Special Silver Anniversary Report 1980-2005

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