EXPLORING LAKE CUMBERLAND

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This past week was HOT.  I’m talking 90+ degrees, humid, can’t breathe kind of hot.  The heat, combined with another long stretch of Nathan and I not seeing one another, sparked an idea. We needed a getaway...ON THE WATER!  So, I hopped on AirBnb, typed in the location search to the nearest lake I could remember hearing about from some co-workers, and booked the first dog-friendly cabin that I could find!  Five days later, we packed our bags, our dog and our cooler and hit the road for a weekend at Lake Cumberland!

Lake Cumberland is located in south-central Kentucky and is one of the largest man-made lakes in the US.  It was constructed in the early 1940’s by damming up a large section of the Cumberland River, which flows through Daniel Boone National Forest.  Read about our first hiking trip to this gorgeous state park HERE.  The lake was finally completed in 1952, and today ranks as the 9th largest man made lake in the US in size.  Fun Fact: Lake Cumberland is famously known as the houseboat capital of the world ( we saw a TON of them while we were there and talked about how fun it would be to rent one for the weekend with a group of friends)! The Lake is also home to two Kentucky State Parks, one of which we visited before checking into our AirBnb!

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Our cabin on the lake wasn’t available until around noon on Saturday, so Nathan and I decided to check out Lake Cumberland State Resort Park.  We both heard the Cumberland Falls were a “must see” of central Kentucky (it is known as the Niagra of the South), and that there were great hiking trails!  We arrived to the park by 9 AM which was perfect because we were pretty much the only people there, the visitor center wasn’t even open yet!  After buying a map from the gift shop…yes, they actually make you PAY for a map which was a first for us, we made our way to the main attraction.  And it was pretty incredible!  The waterfall was huge, and it did remind me of a smaller version of Niagra Falls with the mist and gray fog. After checking out all the different overlooks of the falls, we decided to hit the trails.  

The trail of choice for this excursion was the Moonbow Trail, named after the famous moonbow phenomenon of Cumberland Falls. If your not familiar with a moonbow its an ethereal arch of white (or if you catch it just right, colored) light produced by the combination of a full moon and rising mist from the falls.   Its a mystical wonder that you can’t see anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere!  In fact, the only other reported moonbow is located at Victoria Falls in Africa!  Pretty cool, right?  Anyways, the Moonbow Trail was the best trail we have hiked recently.  It was the perfect combination of rugged terrain and scenic views.  And because it runs right along the river, it was perfect for Reggie too because he could have plenty of water breaks!

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After a long morning of hiking we set off to check into our AirBnB.  It was starting to get hot outside, and a cold beverage and a cool lake breeze was calling our name.  Our rental was located about 30 minutes north of the park and it was a cozy little AirBnB cabin hidden in the woods.  I kept telling Nathan I felt like we were in a treehouse!  Anyway, it was perfect for a short overnight stay with its own eat-in kitchen, patio, and fire pit.  It even had it’s own private dock which was convienent because our hosts had a whole slew of floats, kayaks, and canoes available for use. Once we got the car unpacked, we took Reggie down to the dock for some much needed time in the water and pretty much hung out there for the remainder of the day.

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The next morning Nathan headed out for a coffee run (we all know I’m not pleasant without my morning coffee) before we took another trip down to the dock. We decided to take their canoe out on the water ( watch how we almost got stranded out on the lake HERE ) and ended up finding a nice shady spot on the shore to beach it and just chill for the morning before we needed to hit the road to head back home.  

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Overall, it was the perfect weekend getaway.  It was short and sweet, and allowed both of us to just relax, enjoy each others company, and COOL OFF!!

SAM’S HIGHLIGHT:  my favorite part of our little getaway was the morning we decided to take the canoe out for a little adventure!!  It definitely didn’t go exactly as planned (click HERE to find out why) but it ended up being the absolute perfect morning….even if Nathan has some battle scars because of it hahaha. 

NATHAN’S HIGHLIGHT: I'd say my favorite part of our trip was hanging out at the dock, going swimming with Reggie (even though he absolutely HATES the water) and just relaxing by the water.

Have you ever been to Lake Cumberland or Cumberland Falls?  Thanks so much for reading and stay tuned for a new travel post coming SOON!