Deep in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest, discover Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. Home to the renowned Cumberland Falls, often revered as the “Niagara of the South,” this 68-foot tall, 125-foot wide waterfall cascades over a boulder-rich gorge. It also features the rare moonbow, a lunar rainbow created by the light of a full moon – one of only two in the world.
With camping, grills for picnicking, playgrounds and an outdoor pool, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is a go-to getaway for groups of all sizes and those who simply love the great outdoors.
Within Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, find the historic DuPont Lodge open year-round. Offering 51 rooms, 25 cottages, cabins, the Riverview Restaurant and gift shop, an event shelter and conference/meeting rooms with catering options, DuPont remains a fantastic lodging experience for those wishing to explore the state park. There is also a 50-site campground for those who wish to pitch a tent or park their RV in the park.
Panning for fossils and gemstones with Cumberland Falls Mining Company is a favorite amongst visitors and locals alike. In season, discover real, colorful gemstones and fossils at the flume. It’s a great educational experience, something unique to do with kids and fun to compare your finds to help identify what types of gems and fossils you’ve found!
Another fun thing to do while in the state park is touring the historic 1937 Pinnacle Knob Fire Tower, which is on the national list of historic fire towers and is one of only a handful in the country with a full residence at the top. Numerous staircases lead to the top of the tower for a sweeping vantage point. Access to the top deck is available at announced times when the park provides tours.
Hiking & Horseback Riding
Explore Cumberland Falls State Park’s 20 miles of hiking trails that wind through scenic areas and include many cascading waterfalls. The 1.5-mile Eagle Falls Trail is a favorite amongst avid hikers and is the only trail leading to Eagle Falls. Hikers follow the rugged cliff line for much of the trail to one of the best views of Cumberland Falls.
Meanwhile, the Moonbow Trail is what you’ll want if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the famed moonbow phenomenon – appearing for the two days before and after a full moon. It’s important to note that this trail is long and strenuous, so it’s best for hikers looking for a challenge. If you’re set on seeing the moonbow but want an easier route, especially at night, you can instead walk the half-mile Cumberland Falls Trail which ends at the observation decks.
Another naturalist activity is horseback riding through the forest. Stables are open daily and welcome riders of ages 6 and up for a 45-minute jaunt through The Kentucky Wildlands. The park offers guided trail rides that are easy enough for first-timers while still adventurous for more experienced riders.
Birding & Fishing
Cast a line in the Cumberland River. Winding through the hillside, the river hosts an abundance of bass, trout, catfish, panfish and roughfish. If fishing is a must on your trip, be sure to visit Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to purchase a license online.
If you’re more of a birder than a fisherman, head out for a memorable birding experience into The Kentucky Wildlands. You’ll likely catch a glimpse or hear the calls of many native bird species, such as the Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadee and many more.
Rafting & Kayaking
A guided whitewater rafting trip on the Russell Fork River is an exciting activity to experience with co-workers, friends or family. The 10-mile-long river trip features scenic views and several Class 3 rapids. Experience the guided Rainbow Mist Ride to the base of Cumberland Falls (the guide does all the paddling, so it’s great for all ages).
There are also areas for kayak and canoe rentals to paddle your way up and down the Cumberland River. Guided kayak excursions to the base of Cumberland Falls are another option. Opt for a tandem kayak to make it a fun paddling experience with a partner!