Thursday, November 8, 2012

Haunted Travels: Cumberland Falls State Park, Kentucky

Another weekend getaway is under my belt as I traveled to Kentucky in September for a trip to Cumberland Falls State Park near Corbin, Kentucky. I planned an end of summer getaway to the mountains shortly after returning home for North Carolina back in the summer. I wanted to take a nice relaxing mini vacation to a secluded area for some quite time with nature and my family.

I started searching local state parks and lodges and when I saw a photo of the DuPont Lodge at Cumberland Falls State Park, I knew that was the place I wanted to go. This charming stone lodge looked simply beautiful from the photos, and upon research I discovered that a magnificent waterfall was located within the park, just a short distance away. Cumberland Falls is known as the Niagara Falls of the south, but its other claim to fame is its nighttime rainbow known as a moonbow. Cumberland Falls’ moonbow is the only predictable moonbow in the northern hemisphere. The weekend of our planned trip offered us an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the moonbow; we would be traveling there during the full moon (which is the only time the moonbow can be seen). The moonbow appears from the mist of the falls as the light of the full moon hits.

We spent our long weekend enjoying the area; I had a number of wonderful photographic opportunities while there. We went hiking on the falls view trail, it was a steep trail and a tad rough in spots, but it was totally worth the hike. We took a train ride in nearby Stearns Ky, where we went though some old ghost town and former coal camps and we also took a trail ride by horseback before the rain set in on our final day there but what we really went for was the falls…

Our second night at Cumberland Falls was the night the predicated moonbow would appear, so of course we found some other things to do in the meantime. But finally the time came and we headed out onto the rocky ledge just above the falls, waiting for the moon to peak over the horizon so that we may see this famous moonbow…and finally after waiting for about an hour it began to appear. At night, the rainbow appears colorless but it was well defined in shape …almost like a ghost rainbow. Speaking of ghosts, Cumberland Falls is a romantic and somewhat mystical place, and it most certainly seems a fit setting for a good ghost story. The falls also seem to the perfect setting for a story of a ghost bride. That’s right, within the rushing waters and mist of the falls there has been a ghost bride spotted many times. One legend states that an upset bride plunged to her death as she threw herself into the falls after learning of her fiancĂ©e’s death. Another legend says that the couple was honeymooning in the park when she accidentally fell to her death from the rocks above the falls. No matter the true story behind this legend, Cumberland Falls draws both the living and perhaps even the dearly departed to its amazing beauty.

Now going back to our accommodations, we stayed at the DuPont Lodge, located within the park. The original lodge was built in 1933, but was destroyed by a fire in 1940 but rebuilt in 1941 and has been there ever since. I could not find any specific stories that would relate back to the lodge being haunted, but it seems that perhaps the ghost bride and her groom may be to blame for some of the strange things that happen there today. I found some comments from former employees of the lodge online that state employees’ will not enter into some of the rooms, and doors shut on their own and the apparitions of the bride and groom have been seen there as well. The two nights we stayed, we did not encounter any of the lodge spirits. But I would recommend anyone a weekend’s stay at the lodge.

I don’t believe the stories end there, there seems a stir of many other ghosts that haunt the Cumberland Falls State Park, but you may just have to take a trip there yourself to find out!
HPIR Founder

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