Cumberland Falls, Kentucky at Night - Information and pictures

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About the Moonbow

Cumberland Falls, KY

Photographing the Moonbow

2019 & 2021 Cumberland Falls Moonbow Schedule

Kentucky Moonbow

Waterfalls in Kentucky

The First Photo Attempt

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

DuPont Lodge

Moonbow and Lunar Rainbow Links

Current Moonbow Pictures


Cumberland Falls pictures by Mike

.....History .... about the Falls

CUMBERLAND FALLS, estimated to be about 250 million years old, originated miles downstream near Burnside from its present location flowing over resistant Pine Creek and Rockcastle Conglomerate Sandstones. Every waterfall is destined to disappear. Like other waterfalls, it is slowly but not visibly moving upstream due to weathering and erosion. The process is a gradual one.

Ancient Appalachian Mountains River System

Geologic Map and Prehistoric History of Kentucky

Prehistoric Trails in the Upper Cumberland River Basin  

 Local History of Cumberland Falls

The Geology of Cumberland Falls, Ky

cumberland falls moonbow

Climate at the Falls & KY_Temperate

Click for Corbin, Kentucky Forecast

Weather at Cumberland Falls




DuPont Lodge

7351 Highway 90

Corbin, KY 40701-8857

Phone: (606) 528-4121

Toll Free 800-325-0063





The Falls area has been featured in 3 movies.

'The Kentuckian' - Burt Lancaster & Amos Miller

'Raintree County'-Montgomery Clift & Elizabeth Taylor

and a flyover in 'The Fire Down Below' {#2} 

Corbin KY water fall

The Smithsonian Channel - Kentucky


  Fishing at Cumberland Falls

with a map of the area



 Cumberland Falls Moonbow

If you have a popup blocker and missed the moonbow panorama on the previous page  

Pictures of Kentucky  

Cumberland Falls is located:

Travel Distances from Cumberland Falls Ky

Area Sights Around the Falls

Corbin 17 miles

Birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken

Whitley City 28 miles

Williamsburg 18 miles

Gateway to the Cumberlands

Stearns 28 miles

London 25 miles

Levi Jackson State Park

DuPont Lodge 1/2 mile

Yahoo Falls Trailhead 19 miles

Natural Arch Trailhead 15 miles

The Grove Marina 15 miles

Blue Heron 35 miles

Barbourville 32 miles

Dr. Thomas Walker State Park

Somerset 40 miles

Cumberland Gap 64 miles

National Historical Park

Middlesboro 60 miles

One of a few cities in the US & World built inside a meteor crater

Three Forks of Beaver Creek ..25 miles

Dog Slaughter Trailhead 7.5 miles

Pineville 50 miles

Pine Mountain State Park

Lake Cumberland 40 miles

The 10th Largest Reservoir in the U.S.

Lake Cumberland State Park 82 miles

Renfro Valley 48 miles

Ky Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Lexington, KY 104 miles

Knoxville, TN 80 miles

Louisville, KY 180 miles

Home of the Kentucky Derby

Mammoth Cave National Park 142 miles

World's Longest Cave System

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 131 miles

Waterfalls in the Great Smokies

The falls is located midway between Lexington, KY and Knoxville, TN.  

Info / Information from Ky State Parks Brochure..

 10 Jaw Dropping views from Kentucky



 Cumberland Falls Ky




 Cumberland Falls

One of the World's Most Romantic Waterfalls





Cumberland Falls Art




 The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state!  









Cumberland Falls, Kentucky 

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

Joe Mounce ,..Park Manager

near Corbin, Kentucky

 Cumberland Falls from Lover's Leap 


Located in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Southeastern Kentucky, Cumberland Falls State Park is on the Cumberland River, 18 miles southwest of Corbin, with the waterfall bordering Whitley County and McCreary County. The outstanding natural feature of the park is Cumberland Falls, world famous for its moonbow. The 125 foot wide waterfall has a 68 foot drop that showers onto the boulders that lie in the rocky gorge below. The mist rising from the largest waterfall in Kentucky, creates a unique natural phenomenon that is not visible anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere on a predictable schedule during a time period around the Full Moon. Cumberland Falls has an easily accessible area where everything lines up at the correct angle. The Falls are situated in such an odd way facing north and flowing north, as to reflect the light of the Moon to make a rainbow like arch, an optical phenomenon called a " moonbow". The Moonbow can be seen here on clear, strongly moonlit nights. It is sometimes called the "Niagara of the South", "Little Niagara", and even Moonbow Falls . It was first known as "the Great Falls". This waterfall is one of a few locations in the world where you can find a moonbow or as other's have called it, night rainbow, a moon rainbow or lunar rainbow. The average yearly park attendance is 750,000+ visitors.

GPS Location: 

N 36.83853 Paul Carlisle's Earth Viewer W -84.33849

About Cumberland Falls Facts

Height of falls at normal pool = 68 ft.

Width of falls at normal pool = 125 ft.

Height of the waterfalls at flood stage = 45 ft.

Width of the waterfalls at flood stage = 300 ft.

Elevation of the falls = 825 ft. above sea level

Elevation of the Lodge = 1,090 ft. above sea level


The Cumberland River

Named in 1750 when Kentucky explorer Dr. Thomas Walker named it after the Duke of Cumberland, a son of King George II of England, the Cumberland River is created when three small streams, Poor Fork, Clover Fork and Martins Fork flow together near Harlan in Harlan County, Ky. along with other tributaries, nearly 120 miles upstream from the Falls on the Cumberland Ridge region of the Appalachian Mountains. The confluence is located in Baxter. From the headwaters, the river meanders its way through the mountains of Kentucky. From the falls, the river converges with Laurel River and Rockcastle River, which then flows into Lake Cumberland. The south fork of the river then winds it way southward into Tennessee. From Wolf Creek Dam at the Upper Lake Cumberland, the river flows southward into Tennessee. After flowing through Nashville, the river continues west through Tennessee , then back up into Kentucky in the western region creating Lake Barkley, part of the Land Between the Lakes and then empties into the Ohio River near Smithland. The Cumberland River is the only river in Kentucky that flows south, then changes course and flows north. The waterfall is considered as on the traditonal western edge of the Appalachias'.


Minimum flow = 4 cubic ft. per second

Maximum flow = 59,600 cubic ft. per second

Average flow = 3,217 cubic ft. per second

Source elevation = 1,155 ft above sea level

Cumberand Falls at Flood Stage

Cumberland River Length above falls = 119 miles

Cumberland River Length below falls = 563 miles

Cumberland River Length = 687 miles

Cumberland River Watershed covers 18,500 square miles

Kentucky's first commercial oil well was drilled on the Cumberland River in 1819

A witnessed meteorite fell near Cumberland Falls in Whitley County, Kentucky in 1919

Cumberland Information, History and Facts from the KY State Park Visitors Guide

Cumberland Falls, Ky

All of the above Cumberland Falls photos are 5 minute exposures{used for night moon light photo comparison} taken at Lover's Leap Overlook near the Thomas Coleman DuPont Plaque .

.More History about Cumberland Falls...

This interesting place is a favorite vacation destination for many, including Thomas Coleman DuPont , a Kentucky native and U.S. Senator from Delaware. Unhappy with plans to build a hydroelectric dam at the site on the river in Southeast Kentucky, in 1930, the DuPont family donated 600 acres surrounding the Falls to Kentucky, urging the Commonwealth to set aside the property as a state park. Despite DuPont's passing, additional land was bought, and in 1931 the state legislature designated the scenic property as Kentucky's third state park . Since 1983, the Park has been a part of the State's Nature Preserve Program .

Click Here to See Kentucky's First State Park


Click on the Image Above for a Map on how to get to Cumberland Falls

Driving Directions


From Interstate-75 exit 25 (Corbin) take US-25W south to KY-90. Continue on KY-90 to the Park Entrance. It's 15 miles from I-75 exit 25.

From Williamsburg, KY

If traveling north on I-75, take exit 15 at Williamsburg and turn left and continue to the park entrance. Be careful at the stop sign. The road forks.

It's a short hiking distance with low-lit sidewalks from the parking lot to the viewing areas.

Commonwealth of Kentucky Map

Click Here for a Cumberland Falls Park Area Map

An aerial view of Cumberland Falls and Kentucky

Another aerial of Cumberland Falls



 Click Here for a photo by My Life In Focus

...........................................Cumberland Falls Moonbow

Fall and Winter is supposedly the best time to visually see colors in the moon bow because of the cold air and clear atmosphere. Any time around the Full Moon is a good time to see the moonbow, weather permitting. Admission is free and the park is open year round. The gates are always open. The Park Rangers are really good. and knowledgable. They know when the moonbow is occurring and go out of their way to accommodate visitors. This is a night waterfall in the US.

An unusual and rare Winter photo of a frozen Cumberland Falls photo by Scott Clouse.

Another unusual Winter photo of a cold Cumberland Falls by Jim Begley

 Besides moonbows, rainbows may be seen almost any sunny day.



Full Moon Dates

While observing the moonbow is the park's best known activity, there are plenty of other fun things to do.

There are other trails to hike around the Falls area.

Handicap Accessible

Things to bring to a Moonbow

and other activities. The park is Handicap Accessible  

Visit ColorFall for the peak foilage for colorful fall photos.



Did You Know?...

Kentucky has the greatest number of navigable miles

of running water in the United States  


A PRIDE Enviromental Education Center  




 Cumberland Falls in Ky

18 Minute Exposure during the fall season photo from the Bank of the Cumberland River At 1 AM......


Photo of the moonbow at Cumberland Falls 



 Other Adventurous Things to do in Kentucky





View Larger Map



Cumberland Falls is the waterfall in Kentucky in the United States that creates a moonbow when the moon is full or nearly full and is

one of the few places on the planet earth where you can see a moonbow.   

Hidden treasure in KY....Special thanks to Dr. Truman Perry, Corbin, Ky Dr. Paula Hollingsworth, Lexington, Ky

and Dr. Robert Salley, Lexington, Ky .Without them, this site and th moonbow pictures would not exist! And of course, my Grandmother!




Another video....Cumberland Falls at Flood Stage


This free script provided by 
Rainbow Arch