What a nice surprise! We aren’t the type that typically makes reservations; and we were simply looking for a place to stay the night when we saw this state park on our trusty Nat Geo road atlas. Well, we found it…and stayed for nearly a week. Filled with waterfalls (the main falls are the largest south of Niagara Falls), numerous hiking trails, and the home of the only regular moonbow (lunar rainbow) in the northern hemisphere, we just couldn’t get enough of this place. The lunar rainbow appears every month during the full moon – 2 days before and 2 days after, when the night skies are clear. Check the calendar at the park for details about dates and times.
The best viewing spot for the moonbow is down the first set of stairs, which winds you down and around the rock outcropping that forms the waterfall. Bring some headlamps, as the stairs are wet and dark. What you will see with the naked eye may not be as impressive as what you can see with a tripod and DSLR camera with a wide aperture and slow shutter speed, but it’s still worth seeing. Don’t expect to get anything with a cell phone camera or point and shoot camera, though many people try. Since I have a DSLR and am an environmental educator, I was thrilled to show kids of all ages what I could see with my camera. I even had people taking pictures of my images so that they could show their friends and family! Also, be patient…as the night progresses and the moon rises higher, the rainbow gets higher and brighter, making for better viewing and photography.
With all this said, when we landed at this state park in early December, the weather was absolutely amazing, there were no bugs, and it was practically empty. The campground is tiny and the sites compact, with almost no room in between, but it is perched on top of a rock outcropping, so you are surrounded by views of trees. Admittingly, had it been busy, we may have only stayed a night or two as it would have been cramped. Each site has a picnic table, fire pit, and lantern pole. Don’t expect to bring your 30’ RV here, I can’t imagine something bigger than 20’ would fit. We squeezed our 15-footer into a spot though. Plenty of tent spots, though, and the campground was clean and well-kept.
In addition to a campground, there is a lodge, cabins, visitor’s center, pool, and a whole host of affordable/free programs for families during the main season. A night camping at the fire tower with astronomical interpretation (complete with dinner)…wow, sign me up!
The winter rates were $20 per night, which provided us with a campsite and a clean pit toilet, and surprisingly strong wifi. Normally, there are additional amenities such as drinking water, showers, and flush toilets, but those we are closed for the season. We did, however find that the drinking water in the picnic area near the falls was running, so we just filled up water and took it back to our campsite.
I hadn't been here before and unfortunately our campsite was kind of the worst. It was gravel and full sun the entire day. Cumberland falls is ok, it is super crowded, and as another reviewer mentioned there is tonssss of trash. Personally I highly recommend visiting eagle Falls, another waterfall at the park. It's a tough trail to get there but way worth it. Plus you can swim there. All in all the trails are great, the campground not so much.
Also one of the workers tried to tell us we could walk our kayaks to the bottom of Cumberland Falls and head out from there, and no, no you cannot.
We stayed here on a whim when we weren't able to paddle the Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park due to high water levels. We did a little research and found ourselves here for a few nights. The campground is a bit older than some but the sites are well maintained for the most part. Unfortunately, there had been a great deal of rain so things were quite muddy but our site seemed to drain well.
We weren't able to see the famous "moonbow" but the falls were quite beautiful. Sadly, there is a massive amount of trash at the bottom (as you can see in the pictures posted here) which takes away from the natural appearance of the falls. The falls area does get quite crowded so be prepared to bob and weave around the crowd.
There is easy access near by to paddle the relatively calm water (mostly class I and a bit of class II) above the falls. You can contact a local outfitter to arrange a shuttle if needed.
The park has a few nearby natural attractions that offered good views. The facility is pet friendly and has a nice little camp store. I would stay here again if I was in the area.
Maybe it was the time of the year but, this is a busy area! Lots to see in the immediate area and guided horse tours as well. Nice, tight camp. You will probably get to know your neighbors quite well. Bathhouse on site, small campground.
If you can plan your visit around the full-moon and a clear night you will be able to see the infamous moon bow!!!
This is a pretty popular park since it’s so beautiful and there are a lot of trails to explore, plus some nice campground resort extras like sports fields and a pool. That all means you need to make reservations in the summer. The campground is simple and clean with fairly basic facilities, though they have showers and a playground. They also have cabins and a lodge to stay in, so everyone in the family can find a place comfortable for them. Campsite wasn’t extremely memorable, but the park itself is great. They have some neat seasonal events like a haunted hike, spring birding hikes, tours of a historic fire tower, etc. Great park for a day visit or a weekend of camping!
We traveled here just to see the Moonbow and were not disappointed (be sure to make reservations if you’re going during that time). We were happy to find good trails in addition plus many modern and resort facilities and activities, great visitor center. Campground and camp sites are on the small side but feel private, are shaded.
It was my first time camping. We have camped at many other places since and nothing compares. We love the falls so that we return yearly. Very clean and well cared for.
The falls were beautiful and they have great hiking trails. It was really accessible off of I-75 and they were good places to eat.
Great state park with cool waterfalls. What makes this place special and a must see event is the ability to see a Moonbow from the waterfall. The only other places I'm aware this happens is Victoria Falls in Zambia, Africa and Niagara Falls. A Moonbow is a rainbow at night formed from a full Moon's glow. So to see this event you have to go on a full Moon clear night. The campground is very nice with easy access to all the waterfalls and hiking trails. Can be quiet busy when a Moonbow time is approaching so be prepared for a lot of people during those times. Great place to spend a weekend though regardless of whether you get to see the Moonbow or not.