Established in 1909, Boone Cave Park is the smallest State Park in North Carolina. However, it is dedicated to one of the state’s biggest legends.
Allegedly, it is where the Boone family first settled in North Carolina, when Daniel Boone was a teenager. There is no real paper trail to confirm that, only the unverified location of a cabin, tales past down by local family, and deeds that show the family owned land in the nearby area.
The cave onsite is subject to several legends. Some that say the Boone family lived in the cave during their first winter. After seeing the size of the cave up myself, I find it hard to believe that Squire and Sarah Morgan crammed in their with 10 children and the other friends and family that left Pennsylvania together. In total it was a group of 25.
Other legends say that Daniel Boone and his family hid in the cave from Native American raiding parties while living in the area after relocating from Pennsylvania. This is also unlikely. Daniel Boone was born in 1734, and and by 1738, most of the Native American population in North Carolina was decimated by smallpox.
By 1755, there are only 356 Native Americans left in the colony. There were Cherokee raids against settlers during the French and Indian War, but no evidence that Daniel Boone personally experienced one before resettling to Virginia in 1758 with his wife and children.
Today the park is filled with a few remnants of settlers from more than one era, steep stone steps that trail off into hillsides, the foundation of an old 1940’s cabin, a large flat rock formerly used for baptisms and of course, the legendary cave.