Friday, March 23, 2012

Cumberland Falls

 Cumberland Falls lie within a State Park of the same name, on the Cumberland River in southeastern Kentucky. The falls are reported to be the widest natural waterfall east of the Mississippi River and south of Niagara (~ 125 ft. or 38 m), although at 68 ft. (21 m) there are several that are taller, even nearby. Sometimes referred to as the "Niagara of the South," it pales in comparison to its namesake. Average flow over the falls is about 3,200 cubic feet/second (91 cubic meters/second) compared to Niagara's more than 66,000 CFS. But one can get much closer to these falls than to Niagara.
Dr. Thomas Walker and his party in 1750 were the first Europeans to find the Cumberland River, which he named. It is reported that he chose that name because the river's crooked path reminded him of the Duke of Cumberland (Prince William, Third Duke of Cumberland). The river begins in eastern Kentucky near the Virginia line, dips into Middle Tennessee to go through Nashville, and then turns back north across western Kentucky before emptying into the Ohio River.

Cumberland Falls is the only place in the western hemisphere where one may see a "moonbow." On a clear night with a full moon, a lunar rainbow may appear. You can see one by clicking here.


  1. What a splendid sight. Certainly nothing like that in Cumberland UK though some beautiful small falls and stunning scenery.

  2. Oh my, that moonbow is so beautiful!

  3. Gorgeous! And how magical to see a moonbow!