Surrounded by amazing views of the Daniel Boone National Forest, Cumberland Falls State Park is an outdoor lover's dream, featuring over 1,657 acres of jaw-dropping views of the stunning landscape like Cumberland Falls, and the sprawling meadows, canyons, and streams. Located near Corbin, Kentucky, this state park is a must for your next RV vacation. You'll have countless opportunities for outdoor fun in a unique forest landscape. From hiking and gem mining to birding and horseback riding, Cumberland Falls State Park offers an enormous variety of outdoor excursions. Cumberland Falls, known at the Niagara of the South, are jaw-dropping waterfalls that plunge into a rocky gorge from 68 feet high. You will enjoy taking in the mountain air while being surrounded by rare plant life, including rosebay rhododendron, dogwood, mountain laurel, native orchid, and other plant species. There are numerous bird species in the park and a lot of wildlife, from white-tailed deer to wild turkey. History enthusiasts will enjoy learning about the history of the park and how it was purchased. After you park your rig at Cumberland Falls State Park, you will find comfort and tranquility within the campground. The park is an excellent RV destination no matter what time of year you visit.
In the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest, Cumberland Falls State Park is easily accessible by car or RV. Just 100 miles from Lexington and 150 miles from Bowling Green, you’ll find the park in the south-central area of Kentucky just minutes from the border of Tennessee. Located 15 miles southwest of Corbin, Kentucky, off of US-90, local roads will take you where you want to go inside the park, from the Visitor Center and Gift Shop to the campgrounds and trails.
There are no driving restrictions for RVs or trailers in the park, so getting around will be easy, whether you're in your rig or another vehicle. There is an absolute 30-foot maximum length limit for RVs in the campgrounds, though. Parking is limited for RVs and trailers within the park. However, you will find spots at some of the more popular attractions.
Of course, if you are staying overnight at the campground, you can park there as well. No matter which campground you are staying at, you will be within walking distance to laundry facilities, the camp store, and nature trails.
If you wish to park your RV elsewhere and pitch a tent, the Clifty Campground is ideal, offering nine sites for tent camping. Each site provides partial shade, electrical access, a picnic table, and a campfire grill for cooking. Pets are welcome, but you must supervise them and restrain them during your stay. Reservations have to be made 24 hours in advance but can be made as far as 12 months in advance. You can find restrooms and showers at the pool house, where you can also spend the day swimming in the Olympic-sized pool.
The Ridgeline Campground at Cumberland Falls State Park offers 49 spacious campsites available for tents and RVs between March to November. If you are taking an RV trip, this is the campground for you since 21 of the campsites here are made for RVs up to 30 feet long, offering paved, flat pads with water and electrical hookups. These sites are located under the mature pines and hemlock, providing plenty of shade. Each of the campsites has its own large picnic table, a fire pit with a grill for cooking, and a cleared space to hang out around the campfire. Showers and restrooms with running water are available by the registration building between sites 118 and 119. There is also an RV dump station for your convenience.
If you need to stock up on some snacks or do some laundry, the grocery store is right across the road. Since you're just a short walk from the Cumberland River, you can grab your fishing gear and head to the riverbank to try and catch some catfish or bass for dinner. The kids will enjoy the playground, which is in the loop closest to the river. Reservations must be made at least one day in advance, and dogs are welcome as long as you keep them restrained at all times.
Cumberland Falls State Park offers an opportunity for you to try your luck at mining for gems. Located just past the Gift Shop near the falls, you and the kids will love this indoor activity. Just scoop up some material, place it on the screen, then rinse with water. When wet, you can find gemstones of all different colors and shapes. Gem mining offers you the chance to discover amethyst, quartz, ruby, emerald, garnett, along with 11 other types of gems.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the beautiful wildlife that calls the park home, park your RV near the trails and venture out with your binoculars. With the massive amount of pines and hardwoods that grace the steep slopes, you should have no problem seeing a gray squirrel, bobcat, white-tailed deer, or wild turkey. Just remember this is a park that has woods, trees, and water, so be on the lookout for bears and copperhead snakes.
Cumberland Falls State Park is home to several rare species of birds, so you will want to pack your binoculars in your rig. Some of the birds you may see include pileated woodpecker, wood thrush, Carolina chickadee, Northern cardinal, and wood warblers. Tufted titmouse may be viewed from the restaurant or back patio of the lodge. Other birding hotspots that you don't want to miss include the shores near Cumberland Falls and trees located deep in the state park.
Have you ever seen a moonbow? Most people have never even heard of one. All year long (during the full moon), you can get out on the water and enjoy the moonbow at the Cumberland Falls. The 125-foot wide wall of water is the only place in the Western Hemisphere that you can see such a phenomenon. If the cold weather on the water is not your cup of tea, you can also view the moonbow from the observation overlook just past the gift shop. Make sure you bring a camera so you can remember this nighttime rainbow forever.
Pack the family in the RV and head to Cumberland Falls State Park for a picnic during the off-season. The off-season is the best time to enjoy the park when it is not so crowded. The picnic shelter just to the north of the Ridgeline Campground on US-90 has plenty of tables, several BBQ grills, water, and electric. You can reserve the shelter for up to 12 months in advance. If you don’t need such a big area or if the shelter is already booked, there are plenty of picnic areas in the park with tables and BBQ grills.
Enjoy a guided horseback ride on a 45-minute trip through the forest. There are trails for both first-timers as well as experienced riders and available from May until September. Personal horses are not allowed on the trails at the park, but you can find many miles of equestrian trails outside the park within the Daniel Boone National Forest to ride. There are also several horse camps in the forest, as well as the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
If you are a water lover, you will enjoy the chance to take a dip in the falls at Cumberland Falls State Park. There is no lifeguard, so swimmers should enter the falls at your own risk. The Cumberland Falls are a popular place to take a nice, cool dip. During the peak season, the falls can become very crowded, but the amazing views make up for the crowds. If you want to spend more time in the water, you can also grab a towel and head to the pool by Clifty Campgrounds for a day of swimming and relaxation.
Make sure that you have a comfortable pair of hiking boots in your RV since there are 17 miles of hiking trails that range in difficulty for every type of hiking enthusiast. Should you be looking for a leisurely stroll or hike, head over to Pinnacle Knob Lookout. This two-mile trail takes you into the forest and back, showcasing nature's beauty. For a more challenging trail, check out the 13-mile Moonbow Trail, which will have you going through the woods, hiking near steep cliffs while enjoying the shores of the falls. Most of the trails are pet-friendly as long as your pet is on a leash.
Whether you want to brave the Class IV rapids of the Big South Fork Gorge, the Class III rapids of the Cumberland River, or take a peaceful ride on the river in Class I or II rapids, Cumberland Falls State Park has it all. You can choose to paddle by yourself, or you can hire an outfitter who will do all the hard work while you enjoy the views. Kids age seven and up are welcome on all trips except the Big South Fork Gorge, where the minimum age is 13.
Be sure to pack your tennis shoes and racquets so you can enjoy a friendly game of tennis while you are at Cumberland Falls State Park. The outdoor tennis courts are located near the Woodland Rooms across the road from the swimming pool. Tennis is a fun sport for any age and ability, providing excellent cardio exercise that will help you work up a sweat before you head for the pool or river to cool off.