Cumberland Falls State Park, KY (7-9-14)
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is home to one of the largest waterfalls in the eastern United States. Located only a short distance off Interstate 75 in southeastern Kentucky you'd think that I would have long since have stopped by for a visit on one of my many trips north but it hadn't been the case before this day. The park encompasses around 1,700-acres and, like most Kentucky Resort Parks, is home to a whole bunch of man-made hoopla such as restaurants, hotels, a pool, and equestrian center. This doesn't mean that preservation has taken a back seat however. I found the natural landscape to be very well taken care of and the park offers a more than adequate trail system to explore the undeveloped portions of the landscape.
Our visit began with a stop by the meager visitor center and a quick walk down to Cumberland Falls, which sits adjacent to it. From there we filled up the water bottles and drove around to the Eagle Fall Trailhead which follows the Cumberland River a mile-and-a-half downstream to the parks other major waterfall, Eagle Falls. The trail was well-made and never dull. It boasted just enough elevation gained and lost to keep it from being too easy and offered a variety of scenery, from riverside boulders to overhanging rock walls to clifftop overlooks to the beauty of Cumberland and Eagle Falls themselves. Despite the somewhat oppressive heat this day, we were more than satisfied with our brief visit to the park...
Eagle Falls Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 36.836597, -84.345128
Route Type (Eagle Falls): Out-and-back + spur
Hike Length: ~2.5 miles Hike Duration: 1:40
Trailhead Temp: 85'F Trail Traffic: 10-25 people
Min. Elevation: 770' Max. Elevation: 1,200'
Total Vertical Gain: 400' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 160'
Trails Used (blaze color): Eagle Falls Trail (red)