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Gaze in awe at Kentucky’s own Niagara of the South, where a stunning cascade creates a unique natural phenomenon on brightly moonlit nights.

Cumberland Falls is the star attraction and an unforgettable sight in the state park of the same name. While the 125-foot (38-meter) wide curtain of water is a mesmerizing display day or night, the waterfall’s renown comes from the intriguing phenomenon that occurs under the light of the moon. Visit on a clear night of the full moon to see the falls’ mystical “moonbow.”

Make your way along the short path to the Cumberland Falls viewpoint. From this angle, you’ll see the clear waters of the Cumberland River leaping 68 feet (20.7 meters) into a rocky gorge framed by pretty pines. Visit the falls on a bright moonlit night to experience a unique natural phenomenon. Cumberland Falls’ particular aspect in the western hemisphere means that the light from the moon refracts in the clouds of mist that arise from the cascade. You’ll be able to see a faint rainbow-like phenomenon arching across the gorge. This mystical vision only occurs in a few locations in the world. If you have a tripod and a camera with very slow shutter settings, you might be able to capture the lunar rainbow in a photograph.

Stay in the historic lodge located nearby or pitch a tent in the scenic campgrounds. There are also cabins available for rent. Stay the night in Cumberland State Park and wake up to the tranquil forest and morning birdsong. The lodge has a restaurant with an observation deck for admiring the river.

Explore the network of trails that wind around the park. Choose from densely wooded trails, riverside meadows and historic logging roads. Follow the Laurel and Cumberland rivers and see a myriad of wildflowers in spring. The popular Cumberland Falls Trail begins at the information display in front of the DuPont Lodge and affords fantastic views of the river and Gatliff Bridge.

Cumberland Falls are located a short distance south of Corbin in southern Kentucky. The waterfall has an on-site parking lot and is free to visit at any time of the year. A calendar of the best times to view Cumberland Falls is available on the state park’s website.

Top Hotels Close to Cumberland Falls

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
3.5 out of 5
7351 Hwy. 90, Williamsburg, KY, 40701
The price is $90 per night from Feb 8 to Feb 9
$90
per night
Feb 8 - Feb 9
Stay at this 3.5-star hotel in Williamsburg. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (996 reviews)
"Very clean, old but well taken care of, scenic location, nice breakfast in a great Lodge,, very safe, well lighted parking lot, comfortable beds, you can walk around in your socks and they are clean by the end of the day."

Reviewed on Dec 30, 2022

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Holiday Inn Express Williamsburg, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Williamsburg, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
56 West Highway 92, Williamsburg, KY, 40769
The price is $110 per night from Feb 12 to Feb 13
$110
per night
Feb 12 - Feb 13
Stay at this hotel in Williamsburg. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (526 reviews)
"Very cozy and clean. The staff were really friendly and courteous, will likely stay here again."

Reviewed on Feb 2, 2023

Holiday Inn Express Williamsburg, an IHG Hotel
FairBridge Inn Express Whitley City
FairBridge Inn Express Whitley City
2 out of 5
1116 N Highway 27, Whitley City, KY, 42653
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Whitley City. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
3.7/5 Good! (266 reviews)
Ten out of ten
"Excellent service great attention to our needs. Quiet rooms."

Reviewed on Nov 22, 2022

FairBridge Inn Express Whitley City
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Cumberland Falls

Super 8 by Wyndham Williamsburg
Super 8 by Wyndham Williamsburg
2.5 out of 5
30 W Highway 92, Williamsburg, KY, 40769
Super 8 by Wyndham Williamsburg
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
3.5 out of 5
7351 Hwy. 90, Williamsburg, KY, 40701
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park
Holiday Inn Express Williamsburg, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Williamsburg, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
56 West Highway 92, Williamsburg, KY, 40769
Holiday Inn Express Williamsburg, an IHG Hotel
FairBridge Inn Express Whitley City
FairBridge Inn Express Whitley City
2 out of 5
1116 N Highway 27, Whitley City, KY, 42653
FairBridge Inn Express Whitley City
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Corbin, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Corbin, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
1973 Cumberland Falls Hwy, Corbin, KY, 40701
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Corbin, an IHG Hotel
Big South Fork Trail Lodge
Big South Fork Trail Lodge
2 out of 5
136 Bruce St, Stearns, KY, 42647
Big South Fork Trail Lodge
Best Western Corbin Inn
Best Western Corbin Inn
2.5 out of 5
2630 Cumberland Falls Hwy, Corbin, KY, 40701
Best Western Corbin Inn
Motel 6 Corbin, KY
Motel 6 Corbin, KY
2 out of 5
1891 Cumberland Falls Hwy, Corbin, KY, 40701
Motel 6 Corbin, KY
Hampton Inn Williamsburg
Hampton Inn Williamsburg
2.5 out of 5
530 Highway 92 W, Williamsburg, KY, 40769
Hampton Inn Williamsburg
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.