With over 17 miles of hiking trails and a beautiful waterfall scenery, there’s a reason why a million people visit Corbin, Kentucky every year to see Cumberland Falls on the Cumberland River. It’s also one of the few places in the whole world that you can see a moonbow.
Kaci and I took a day trip to see the Falls. It was about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Bowling Green. Are you traveling to the Corbin area or wanting to visit the Cumberland Falls? Then this guide is going to be for you.
Lets take a look at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park and how you can make the most of your trip to see the waterfall.
Cumberland Falls is a waterfall on the Cumberland River in Corbin, Kentucky. It’s the largest water fall in Kentucky by width, measuring 125 feet wide and 68 feet height. It’s known as the Niagra of the South. The waterfall spills over 3,600 cubic feet of water per second over the Kentucky sandstone, creating an amazing view.
The falls are located within Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, where there is a historic DuPont Lodge on site for a place to stay nearby the falls. It has 51 rooms available for stay, 25 cabins and 50 campsites for rent. Campsites have water and electric hookups with a dump station on site.
The Riverview Restaurant is also on site, which offers a deluxe continental breakfast 7 days a week. We did not stay to eat at the restaurant but there was a waiting line to sit down for a table. Reviews say the buffet is good but was lacking options to choose from. Next trip, hopefully we’ll have time to check out the food.
When visiting the park, theres a large parking area you may leave your vehicle. The good thing is that it’s only a 3-5 minute walk to the actual Cumberland Falls viewing area and easily accessible to anyone.
The park is perfect for all ages and has recreational activities for everyone. There are many different types of animals and wildlife you may see on the hiking trails. Birding is a popular outdoor activity near the park where you may see the Pileated Woodpecker, Canada Geese, Red Cardinals and many other local birds.
We did not have kids at the time of our visit, but there are plenty of things for kids to do while visiting the area. Some of the activities include:
- Hiking trails on Moonbow trail and Eagle Falls trail
- Gem mining for sapphire and quartz
- Fishing for bluegill and bass
- Horseback riding the trails
Cumberland Falls Moonbow
During certain times when visiting Cumberland Falls, you may get to experience a moonbow formation over the falls.
A moonbow is a rare phenomenon that occurs when the mist of the falls create a shining bow over the water, similar to that of a rainbow. Moonbows are created by the light of the moon, rather than the sun. They are much dimmer than a rainbow, so the light pollution needs to be kept to a minimum to see them clearly.
When we visited, we went during the daytime just to see the Falls so there wasn’t a moonbow present. If you are wanting to see the moonbow, then here are the Cumberland Falls Moonbow dates for 2023:
April 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
May 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
June 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 30, 31
Aug 1, 2, 3, 27, 28, 30, 31
Sept 1, 27, 28, 29, 30
Oct 1, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
Nov 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
Dec 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Our experience and honest review of Cumberland Falls
We visited Cumberland Falls on Labor Day weekend and it was somewhat busy during that time, however, there’s tons of room to space out and it doesn’t feel crowded at all. We did not stay in the lodge as we were just passing through for the day, but it looked very neat and clean. We also didn’t eat at the Riverview restaurant due to timing.
The drive up to the Falls is pretty curvy. If you’re coming from I-75, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the park. If you get car sick easily, just don’t look at your phone while traveling this road.
From Bowling Green, it’s about a 2 1/2 hour drive to Cumberland Falls.
From Owensboro, it’s about a 3 1/2 drive to Cumberland Falls.
For viewing the actual Falls, there is a viewing platform that you can easily get a view of the falls from multiple angles.
There’s also an area that is roped off where you just walk out onto the sandstone and get a very close up view of the falls. This is not allowed but there were a lot of people out there already doing it, so we walked out there to check it out and get a better view until we had a park employee remove everyone. I would highly not advise letting your children cross the rope.
Overall, the experience was great. The park was clean and kept up. We would definitely recommend visiting if you are in the area or plan to be.
Places to stay near Cumberland Falls
If you are coming to Cumberland Falls and looking for rental or hotel, the best place to stay is the Dupont Lodge. It’s beautiful hemlock beams and nice up kept property is perfect for enjoying the falls and surroundings. It has a pool, restaurant and many other amenities.
There are many other options for staying nearby in Corbin which include:
- Dupont Lodge
- Falls Creek Cabins
- Hampton Inn Corbin
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Corbin
- Baymont Inn Corbin
- Holiday Inn Express Williamsburg
Best Campground near Cumberland Falls
There are RV sites and tent camping sites at Cumberland Falls Campground. If you are looking for the best camping location near the Falls, many would agree the campground is your best option.
The sites have both water and electric hookups. Shower/bathhouses are available on site. Campfires and pets are both allowed if contained.
7351 Highway 90
Corbin, KY 40701
If you’ve never seen Cumberland Falls, I highly recommend it. The amount of water coming off the fall and the beauty of the Fall foliage, it’s something that everyone should visit and enjoy. There are 44 state parks in Kentucky and Cumberland Falls is one of my top 5 on the list.