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Lake Life On Lake Cumberland, Kentucky

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Throughout my twenties and thirties, I spent several weeks (too many to count) at Lake Cumberland, Kentucky. We camped at Burnside State Park. I have fond memories of family time, tents, campers, bonfires, shower houses, grocery trips, and boating.

And hot...blistering hot in a tent in July/August. lol

My kids learned to operate a boat early, and many of their friends accompanied us. I have tons of photographs from these trips, and still have some of those kids (now adults) contact me about the experience.

We've considered purchasing property here from time to time. That's how much we love this lake!


Lake Cumberland is a major source of income from tourism for south central, Kentucky. The closest city is Somerset.

The main lake is over 101 miles long, and more than one mile across in certain spots. The lake covers 65,000+ acres with 1200+ miles of shoreline. Coves, cliffs, drooping trees, waterfalls, enormous bridges, and beautiful homes can all be seen when traveling along the lake.


Wolf Creek Dam's six turbines are capable of supplying the needs of an average city (population of 375,000) via 270 megawatts of electricity. The power generating capacity is considered "dead" when the lake's water level is below 673 feet (205 m).

On January 22, 2007, the United States Army Corps of Engineers began lowering the water level in Lake Cumberland, fearing a possible breach in Wolf Creek Dam. Water seepage had eroded the limestone under the dam, creating the potential for a breach and subsequent flood that would cause damages into the billions of dollars in cities downstream.

By September 2011 Lake Cumberland was approximately 43 feet below its normal level. The drop in water level had a negative impact on the area's tourism industry. The caverns beneath the structure complicated plans for repairs, but a $594 million project to construct a new wall inside the dam was completed by early 2013, and tourism officials were anticipating higher visitation numbers as the lake level was raised to 705 feet.

Since spring of 2014 Lake Cumberland water levels returned to normal operation and water levels.


Houseboats are common on Lake Cumberland and a popular way for families to spend their vacations. You'll find them anchored at different spots, usually in coves along the lake to avoid the waves from other boaters, or slowly cruising along the lake.

Many marinas on Lake Cumberland rent houseboats, jet skis, pontoons, and other equipment if this sounds like fun to you. These marinas also have gas and food and are located in several spots along the lake.


Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is located just southwest of Corbin, Kentucky and is contained entirely within the Daniel Boone National Forest. (Another beautiful tourist destination).

The park encompasses 1,657 acres and is named for its major feature, 68-foot-tall Cumberland Falls. The falls are one of the few places in the western hemisphere where a moonbow can frequently be seen on nights with a full moon. The park is also the home of 44-foot Eagle Falls.


In my newest release, I used Lake Cumberland State Park as a "safe" location. The hero owns a cabin that contains a state-of-the-art surveillance system. The couple in the book spend several days here.

At the end of the story, they travel back to Lake Cumberland to view the moonbow and for their happily-ever-after. The book is available on Kindle Unlimited.

I've always been told to write what I know, and I know this lake. Lake Cumberland is well worth visiting if you love the "lake life." If not, the many parks offer camping, hiking, picnicking, and other activities not water related.


The moonbow at Lake Cumberland Falls, Lake Cumberland, Kentucky.

If you want to see something truly spectacular, take a chance on Lake Cumberland, Kentucky.

See what you're missing! Thanks for stopping by!

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