Cumberland Falls State Park

On one of our adventure days, Tom, Robin, and I went to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park.  Sometimes we have visitors come in to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and say that they want to see the falls.  At first that question threw me, because we don’t really have any waterfalls in the park.  But then Ranger Brittony asked if the visitor meant Cumberland Falls State Park.  When they said yes, she explained to them how to get there.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is about an hour away from us.  A lot of things are named Cumberland here:  Gap, Falls, River, Plateau, Island, and towns.  I’m sure the Duke of Cumberland never expected to be so well remembered in the United States.

Cumberland Falls is also called the “Niagra of the South.”  It is 68 feet tall and 125 feet wide.  The waterfall is very impressive and can be enjoyed by paths and overlooks from each side.  On the day we went, we enjoyed various views at each of the overlooks along the east side of the river.  The rainbow caused by the mist was very evident.

We did not try to time our visit to see the Moonbow.  There are various moonbows at waterfalls and other damp places throughout the world.  A moonbow is formed when the mist from the waterfall catches the light of the full moon.  People time their visits to Cumberland Falls to see the Moonbow, and it is one of the few places in the United States where you can see one.

Instead, we enjoyed the roaring waterfall from the east side viewpoints.  Then we headed to the beautiful Cumberland Falls Lodge for lunch.  The lodge was originally built by the CCC in the 1930s.  After most of it burned down, the lodge was rebuilt using more stone and less wood.  We took advantage of the buffet lunch.  The salad bar was very good and fresh.  The entrees were not quite as good and the desserts were mixed.  But we had plenty to eat and enjoyed the view out the big picture windows and the company.

Refreshed by lunch, we headed out for a little more hiking on the west side of the river.  We wanted to see Cumberland Falls from the other side.  After a steep climb up, we got to the overlook only to find it so grown up that we couldn’t see anything.  The view was not worth the climb.  There is a little CCC shelter at the overlook so we knew we were in the right place.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park has plenty for people to do who want a longer visit.  There are 17 miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, gem mining, and a swimming pool.  I’m sure it is an absolutely gorgeous place to be in the fall.

We enjoyed our visit to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and were glad that Robin could go with us.  He is always a fun person to have along on a hike.  We kept each other entertained while we enjoyed the views.  He even lined us up for this gorgeous shot of a rainbow and falls.  Thanks, Robin!