Whitley County

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park

Moonbow Trail connects with many backpacking trails in the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Even if you only take a short walk on one of our trails, you will discover spectacular sandstone bluffs, the beauty of wildflowers nestled beneath towering hemlocks, and the gentle sound of water lapping against moss-covered rocks. Pause for a moment and listen for the musical song of a wood thrush. Notice the changing patterns of light on the forest floor. While you are at Cumberland Falls, make time to discover your special bond with nature. 

TRAIL 1:  MOONBOW TRAIL (Length 10.8-miles)

The trail begins at Cumberland Falls and follows the Cumberland River to the mouth of the Laurel River. Actually, this trail is a section of the Sheltowee Trail which extends the length of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Approximately 2-miles below the falls, the trail junctions with Trail 2. Taking Trail 2 will lead you across a ridge to rejoin the Cumberland River above the falls. It is 5-miles to the falls parking area making a 7-mile loop via trails #1 and #2. 


The trail begins at the far end of the picnic area and follows the river upstream for about 2-miles. Trail 2 then follows an old logging road to the left until it intersects KY 90. After reaching the highway, hikers must follow the highway to the left for about 25 yards where the trail continues on a logging road. About 3/4-mile past its junction with KY 90, the trail turns right, leaving the logging road and winding its way down to the river. Upon reaching the river, Trail 2 intersects with the Moonbow Trail. Following the trail left upriver you will find it winds along the base of the cliff line until it reaches a wooden stairway which climbs the cliff to the left. The trail ends at the falls parking area, about 2-miles. Following the trail down river will lead you to the mouth of the Laurel River 8.8-miles. 

TRAIL 3: LAUREL TRAIL (Length 1/4-mile)

The trail begins at the end of Cabin Area I and ends at Trail #6, near the Gatliff Bridge overlook, following 1/4-mile will lead to the falls and gift shop. 


This is a self-guided nature trail which begins in front of DuPont Lodge. The trail also connects with Trail 5 which leads to Cabin Area II and the campground. The trail ends in the back parking lot of the lodge. 

TRAIL 5: CAMPER'S PATH (Length 1/2-mile)

This trail allows the camper to hike to the river and the falls. Hikers can use it to reach Cabin Area II, Trail 2 and 4. 


Trail 6 begins at the picture display in front of DuPont Lodge and remains the most popular walking route to the falls. The trail offers an excellent view of the river and Gatliff Bridge. After approximately 1/4-mile, Trail 6 intersects with Trail 3 which will lead you to Cabin Area I. The trail ends at the falls parking lot, with a total descent of 200 feet. Remember that you will have to make this up on the way back! 

TRAIL 7: ROCK HOUSE TRAIL (Length 1/8 - 1/2-mile)

Trail 7 is actually two trails that connect Trail 12 and Trails 2 and 11. Trail 7 meets Trail 12 at a small stream and ascends a ridge to its junction with Trail 11. Here Trail 7 continues straight and leads down a staircase. Approximately 1/4-mile beyond this point, Trail 7 splits. Both trails lead to Trail 2 and the river. The trail to the right ends farther downstream than the trail to the left. 

TRAIL 8: (Length 1/4-mile)

Trail 8 is a short spur trail connecting trail 11 with KY 90. 

TRAIL 9: EAGLE FALLS TRAIL (Length: 1 1/2-miles)

Trail 9 is the only trail leading to Eagle Falls. Much of this trail follows the cliff line so hikers should watch their step and keep children near their side. This trail offers some of the best views of Cumberland Falls. About 1/2-mile from the trail head, there is a short trail leading to an overlook that views the Cumberland River gorge below the Falls. There is also an historic Civilian Conservation Corps shelter at the overlook. After crossing a small seasonal stream, Trail 9 becomes a loop. To the right, the trail proceeds to Eagle Falls. At the one-mile point, a spur trail takes you down to the river. This is the trail hikers should take to view Eagle Falls. During high water, this lower section of trail may be under water. The upper trail follows Eagle Creek upstream and then crosses a ridge to complete to loop. This is a very rugged section of trail. 

TRAIL 10:  BLUE BEND LOOP (Length: 4.5-miles)

This trail begins across HWY 90 from the Trail 9 (Eagle Falls) parking area. The trail is marked with Blue Blazes on trees and brown posts marked BB. There are several old roads that branch from the trail, so please follow signage carefully. The trail proceeds gradually uphill until you reach a logging road at the top of the ridge. Turn left and proceed 1.5-miles until you reach the end of the ridge. (You will pass through a Nature Preserve gate). The trail descends to the Cumberland River and joins the Sheltowee Trace Trail. At the junction, go left and follow the trail along the river (downstream) to the Gatliff Bridge. The Sheltowee Trace is marked with white diamonds and turtles. 

TRAIL 11:  ANVIL BRANCH TRAIL (Length 2 1/2-miles)

Trail 11 connects Trail 7 and 2. It may be reached from Trails 7, 8, or 2 and at KY 90 near the east entrance to the park. The trail is noted for its abundance of spring wildflowers. Some sections of this trail are quite steep. 

TRAIL 12:  WILDFLOWER LOOP TRAIL (Length 1 1/4-miles) 

The trail head for Trail 12 is located in Campground I beyond the square dance pavilion. Much of the trail follows sandstone cliffs and rock houses. At one point the trail joins Trail 1 for several hundred yards before heading uphill at a small branch. The trail ends at the public pool.

Length: 10.8 miles

Difficulty: 3


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