Lake Cumberland - Kentucky Wonder
By James Bridges
Located in central southern Kentucky, Lake Cumberland is one of the largest man-made bodies of water east of the Mississippi River and boasts more miles of shoreline (1255) than any other lake in the world. Within a days drive of most of Middle America, Lake Cumberland is considered a premier family vacation destination. For those seeking outdoor adventure, scenic vistas and peaceful surroundings, Lake Cumberland truly is the perfect place.
Nationally known for it's bass and trout fishing and host to several annual tournaments, Lake Cumberland is an angler's dream. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass abound, as well as stripers which have been stocked here since 1951. For the trout fisherman, the entire Cumberland River is full of rainbow trout, brown trout and the elusive brook trout. Many of Kentucky's record catches were recorded here, so your trophy is waiting.
In addition to prized fishing, Lake Cumberland offers house boating and a wide variety of water sports. Lake Cumberland is said to have more luxury houseboats than any other lake in the United States and nearby Monticello is the houseboat manufacturing capitol of the world. There are a host of full service marinas on the lake offering houseboat and pontoon rentals by the day or week. For those desiring a quicker pace on the water, ski boat and powerboat rentals are also available as well a personal watercraft. With over 63,000 acres of water, there is plenty of room for everyone. Cumberland below the falls and Big South Fork offer whitewater adventure that is sure to get your heart pounding. Local outfitters offer rafting as well as canoeing tours and kayakers flock to these rivers for their adrenaline pumping rapids.
Those desiring land recreation will find plenty of activities to choose from. There are many nearby golf courses offering everything from 9 hole par 3 to 18 hole championship courses. Lush vegetation, abundant wildlife, water features and rolling topography are showcased in all their splendor. Golfers of any level are sure to find a course to suit their level and style of play.
For avid hikers or those desiring a casual stroll in the wilderness, Lake Cumberland has an almost limitless network of hiking trails. Numerous trails of all lengths and difficulty levels adorn the shores of Lake Cumberland and the diverse topography of surrounding areas offer breath-taking vistas and panoramic views. The unique geographic features of the area will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression. Beaver Creek Wilderness Trails, Bee Rock Recreation Area, Rockcastle Narrows Trail, Yahoo Falls Scenic Area and The Daniel Boone Forest are just a few of the areas wilderness attractions. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation area is a 110,000 acre park with over 200 miles of trails and scenic railway. Of noted interest are Eagle Falls Trail, Natural Arch Recreation Area (One of the most scenic locations in the region) and Cumberland Falls State Park (Home to the Niagara of the South, the second largest falls in the United States and the night time Moonbow, one of three worldwide.) This is an absolute must see.
The Lake Cumberland area is steeped in tradition, and there are many sites nearby that are of historical interest. Carefully preserved and painstakingly restored, these destinations hark of days gone by and impart a true sense of nostalgia. In Monticello are the Wayne County Historical Society Museum and the Mill Springs Mill. The world's largest in operation, this three-story grist mill grinds fresh corn meal that is available for sale in their gift shop. It sits above the lake shore with a scenic walk descending to the dock below. In nearby Sterns is the Barthell Coal Mining Camp and the Big South Fork Scenic Railway and outdoor museum. Located in Nancy are the Mill Springs Battlefield Park and the Mill Springs National Cemetery with memorial services open to the public.
An Arts and Crafts mecca, shoppers will find many places for antiquing throughout the area. Flea markets, warehouse salvage, orchards offering fresh produce and local art galleries add to this eclectic mix to provide a shopping experience that is both interesting and unique.
Lake Cumberland- come see for yourself and experience this magnificent vacation wonder!
About The Author
James Bridges is a Kentucky resident and a Lake Cumberland
enthusiast. For your next family vacation come see what Kentucky has