September 14, 2013

My Old Kentucky Hikes - Part Two

"Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar, and be better off than you are, or would you rather be a hiker?"  Bing Crosby, please forgive me.   

To catch some of those moonbeams, head to Cumberland Falls, near Corbin, Kentucky which is included as one of the “Seven Wonders of the South” by Southern Living magazine.   Famous for its Moonbow and known as the Niagara of the South, Cumberland Falls is a 125-foot wide curtain of falling water in a boulder-strewn gorge which is dramatic either day or night.  But it is only during a full moon that you can see the Moonbow, a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere and is said only to be duplicated at Victoria Falls in Africa.   

On a recent road trip through Kentucky with The Big Guy (my husband), we visited Cumberland Falls State Resort for some hiking and exploration.  Did I say hiking?  Of course, we hiked and Cumberland Falls is stunning although we didn't catch any moonbeams to carry home in a jar. Maybe next time.

If you missed My Old Kentucky Hikes - Part One, please click here.

Located in the Daniel Boone National Forest, the park is a short, scenic drive from Interstate 75, only 18 miles southwest of Corbin, Kentucky.  Here is more information on the park. 

The calm Cumberland River.
Not so calm closer to the Falls. 

The thundering waters of Cumberland Falls.  When the Cumberland River is at flood stage, the width of the Falls can quickly expand to 300 feet. 

The 125 foot wide waterfall has a 68 foot drop that showers onto the boulders that lie in the rocky gorge below. 

Besides the Falls, one of the great attractions of the park is the Moonbow.  Visible on moonlit evenings, the Moonbow is said to only be duplicated at Victoria Falls in Africa.  Here is a great website to learn more about the Moonbow. 

There are 12 hiking trails in the park ranging from .25 miles to 10.8 miles.   Here is more information on hiking trails in the park. 

Don't miss the Moonbow Trail which offers several lovely vantage points of the Falls.

Cumberland Falls was a favorite vacation destination for Thomas Coleman DuPont, a Kentucky native and U.S. Senator from Delaware.  DuPont was unhappy with plans to build a hydroelectric dam at the site on the river, and in 1930, the DuPont family donated 600 acres surrounding the Falls to the state of Kentucky. 

DuPont Lodge, built in 1941.  The original DuPont lodge was built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and was destroyed by fire in 1940. 

All rooms of DuPont Lodge were renovated in 2006.  Here is more information on lodging at Cumberland Falls State Resort. 

Whether you're looking for an interesting road trip or a great place to hike, I highly recommend Cumberland Falls State Resort. Who knew the Blue Grass state had so many hiking opportunities?  Here is more information on upcoming planned hikes at Kentucky State Parks. 

Hope you've enjoyed my adventure to Kentucky and will stay tuned for more great hiking information. In the meantime, Keep On Hiking. 

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