Route 66 Cities Beaches



Big South Fork

The Cumberland River below the Falls has the most visually stunning start of any rafting trip anywhere --- you launch the rafts from the beach and then paddle right to the foot of the 60 foot falls, as shown above. Rafters often comment that this is Kentucky's Maid Of The Mist (the famous boat that takes riders right to the base of Niagara Falls). While it's not quite that spectacular, it is pretty breathtaking and certainly provides great photo opportunities.

The Cumberland is a great step up from those introductory trips on the Nantahala, Pigeon and Ocoee. It's a Class II - III run which is often canoed or kayaked by hard core paddlers. It's an all day trip but not nearly as intense as the all day trips on the Nolichucky, Big South Fork or New.

And the Cumberland has the advantages of being closer to most of our Ohio Valley readers and being in a great vacation spot. Cumberland Falls State Park offers hiking, swimming, canoeing, horseback riding and fishing, and a few miles away are various other activities such as the Blue Heron Railroad, Lake Cumberland and historical and cultural sites.






Our first lodging recommendation is the Dupont Lodge at Cumberland Falls State Park. At the top of the hill from the rafting put in at the Falls, it is a classic park lodge with solid hemlock beams, knotty pine panelling, massive stone fireplace and an observation deck overlooking the Cumberland River just above the Falls. Its 51 rooms were totally renovated in 2006. There are also "woodland rooms" adjacent to the main lodge. They're larger, and include refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, small porches and outdoor grills. You could also rent a one or two bedroom cottage. They have fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens., and are located in the woods slightly downhill from the lodge.


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