Hans and I, along with Johan (Johanl) and his lovely wife Wies, spent the day together and part of our day was visiting CUMBERLAND FALLS STATE RESORT PARK which is located on Highway 90, southeast of Somerset and 20 miles southwest of Corbin.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Known as the "Niagara of the South", the waterfall forms a 125-foot wide curtain that plunges 60 feet into the gorge below. The mist of Cumberland Falls creates the magic of the moonbow, only visible on a clear night during a full moon. Though there was a full moon during the time we were there, we would have had to venture there late in the evening to witness this phenomenon which appears nowhere else in the Western Hemisphere. Though we didn't get to see the moonbow, nature did have a little treat for us in that there was a lovely rainbow over the mist while we were there and although it was the beginning of January, the temps were in the mid 60's and it was a bright, beautiful sunny day.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest. The Park has much to offer such as white water rafting, fishing, nature trails and swimming.
Accommodations include the Dupont Lodge with 51 rooms that offer beautiful views. Woodland rooms which are adjacent to the Lodge and are little cottages with the convenience of daily maid service. Also their campground has 50 campsites with electric and water hook-ups, a central service building with showers and rest rooms, and a grocery store.
Their 300 seat restaurant offers views of the Cumberland River and Kentucky cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner year-round.
The MOONBOW that appears here is the only one in the Western Hemisphere. It may be observed under a full moon and a clear sky. An arch of white light is usually produced at the base of the falls and continues downstream. Generations of people have visited here to see this natural phenomenon.
Though we did have a full moon at the time we were here, we would have had to come back late in the evening if we wanted to see the moonbow and it would have had to be a clear sky.
This very beautiful 44-feet high waterfall is formed where Eagle Creek plunges into the Cumberland River Gorge, about a mile below Cumberland Falls. It is reached by hiking Trail # 9, the Eagle Falls Trail, a 1.5 mile loop. Much of this trail follows the cliff line overlooking the Cumberland River Gorge with sheer drop-offs and spectacular views. When we hiked the trail it was very icy in places and we had to pick our way with extreme caution. There are guard rails in the worst sections. At about the half mile point we were able to see one of the best views back to the Cumberland Falls.
After hiking about a mile the trail becomes a loop. To the right, the trail proceeds down many steps to the river and then proceeds downstream a short distance over several large boulders to the falls. During high water this lower section of the trail can be flooded. The upper trail follows Eagle creek upstream and then crosses a ridge to complete the loop. This is a very rugged section of trail. The hike is strenuous, but the lovely falls is ample reward for the effort. I would not recommend this hike for young children, or those not in reasonably good physical condition.
The main attraction at Cumberland Falls State Park is, of course, Cumberland Falls. Sometimes called "the Niagara of the South," this is the largest waterfall in the United States south of Niagara and east of the Rocky Mountains. The waterfall forms a 125-foot wide curtain that plunges 60-feet into a boulder-strewn gorge below, creating a thunrderous roar and a high column of mist.
Our picture shows the falls at flood stage, although we believe it is actually much prettier when the water is clear and at more normal levels. Our recent trip to Cumberland Falls was after several days of heavy rains.
The falls is famous for its moonbow, which can been seen in the mist on a cloudless night during a full moon. This unique phenomenon can be seen nowhere else the Western Hemisphere.
Waterfalls in the Eastern U.S. are hard to find. Mostly beause they're small and tucked away. Here is Cumberland Falls located on a main road and it's been developed to provide ease of access to everyone. It drops 60 feet (20 meters) over a ledge. Because it a north facing water fall, it has the unique gift of creating a 'moonbow'. 13 times a year, if the night is clear, you can see a 'rainbow' at night from the light of the moon. Thus it's a 'moonbow'.
Visitors to Cumberland Falls can take a short 30 minute misty ride up to the falls, or a water rafting excursion down river through Class III and a Class IV rapid. Safety instructions and gear are provided. Plan to get wet!
I was here a day before the full moon. I was able to see the Moonbow even though it wasn't the clearest of nights. They say winter is the best time. I was not able to get a picture though with my standard digital camera.