Cumberland Falls, Kentucky

Small waterfall plunging into the Cumberland River

Cumberland Falls is most famously known for being one of literally two or three places on the planet where one can likely see a moonbow. Now I had never really heard of a moonbow before this, but it’s essentially a rainbow created by the moon? I have to honestly admit that I’m not really that excited by that. Maybe it’s something you have to experience in person to really appreciate, and it only has the possibility of being observed a few nights every month. I don’t have the schedule to permit going to Cumberland Falls whenever my heart desires.

For the rest of us, or those who don’t care if the moonbow is present or not, Cumberland Falls is still a spectacular waterfall to visit. It falls into the category of one of those waterfalls with enough volume of water plunging over every second that it’s purely amazing. Visiting in December when the recently fallen snow had actually melted likely increased the volume of water, which I’m guessing might be lower in the depths of summer, at least in some years.

There are numerous other waterfalls nearby, including Eagle Falls. This requires a 2 mile round trip hike that I just didn’t have enough time to do on this sunlight-deprived winter day. As you’re exploring the multiple different viewpoints for Cumberland Falls, also pay attention for a rather small, but still pretty waterfall that falls into the Cumberland River. It’s probably very easy to miss, and is most definitely only going to be seen in the spring or after a very heavy rain.


  1. There are multiple ways to get to Cumberland Falls, which is found in a park along KY-90. I took a roundabout way to get there, but the easiest way is most likely to exit I-75 and head west on KY-90 to the park, which is pretty clearly signed.
  2. Park in the parking area which leads directly to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 69′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Cumberland Falls in December 2009

Where in the World is Cumberland Falls?