Located in southeastern Kentucky, not far from I-75, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is one of the best of Kentucky’s state park system. Combining rugged natural attractions with comfortable facilities, the park and its falls should be a strong getaway candidate for anyone who loves outdoor recreation.
The main avenue to the area is I-75. Northbound traffic should take Exit 15, with southbound traffic using Exit 25. Both exits are south of Corbin, Kentucky. Take US 25 West to KY Route 90, and from there well-marked signs will guide drivers to Cumberland Falls Park.
The Park’s Dupont Lodge is a classic structure, fashioned with beams of hemlock and adorned with pine wood paneling. Complete with huge stone fireplaces, they just don’t build structures like this one anymore. However, the rooms are not aged in any way, as the facility was renovated in 2006. The lodge has 51 rooms, with suites in the adjoining Woodland Annex. There are also several one and two room cottages located in woodlots a short distance from the lodge, and 50 campsites with water and electric hook-ups. The lodge’s restaurant serves a buffets for all meals, and has a good reputation for catfish.
Cumberland Falls are sometimes known as “the Niagara of the South.” The falls are 68 feet high and 128 feet wide. A popular night-time activity is to try to catch sight of an elusive moonbow (lunar rainbow) on clear nights lit by a strong full moon.
The river itself is the focus of numerous water sports. Fishing for bass, roughfish, and catfish is popular, as is whitewater rafting and kayaking down the rapids of the Cumberland. Canoing is possible in the calmer areas. Swimming in the river, however, is discouraged or forbidden, but the Park’s lodge has an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Cumberland Falls is one of the most trail-abundant parks in the Kentucky State Park system. The park’s boundaries are home to 17 miles of trails, with a variety of lengths and difficulty levels. Tenderfoots will be happy on the 1/4 and 1/2 miles trails, while trekkers looking to stretch their legs will enjoy the almost 11 miles of the Moonbow Trail. The park also sits squarely on the Sheltowee Trace National Trail, a long distance trek of over 200 miles that runs the length of the Daniel Boone National Forest and then some.
There are also stables on the park that offer trail horseback rides, with the typical guided ride taking about 45 minutes.
Sources: http://www.parks.ky.gov; personal experience.