After leaving Custer State Park and Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota, we decided to try to find a place to stay around Devil's Tower National Monument. It was late June 2012 and it was hot, somewhere north fo 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It turned out to be the hottest part of the entire trip. So we decided to continue west across northern Wyoming . We were approaching a large mountain range that I thought were too close to be the Rockies so I checked the map. They turned out to be...
God's Country: Lake Cumberland, Kentucky
Disclosure: Opinions, camping practices, and experiences expressed with articles posted here or otherwise via user-generated content posted elsewhere on this site are solely the authors’ and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs, camping practices, or experiences of this website or ScotCro, LLC
Gods Country, Lake Cumberland, Kentucky
Kentucky is home to magnificent mountains, national forests, and the most beautiful horse park in the world. We can brag about our friendliness, fantastic home cooking, and bourbon. Kentucky is so much more.
I was raised in this hillbilly heaven. Our definition of fun is horse racing, basketball watching, and enjoying God's creation. Some outdoor activities include hiking, Jeep crawls, hunting, and fishing. Lakes, rivers, and creeks are bountiful in our small state. Lake Cumberland is in Kentucky.
Lake Cumberland covers over 65,000 acres and offers excellent fishing and hundreds of serene waterfalls. Some world record fish have been caught here, such as a 58 lb. 4 oz Rockfish, a whopping 22 lb. 7 oz Walleye, and an unbelievable 208 lb Catfish. The national record-breaking 26 lb. 10 oz Brown Trout came from these waters!
If you want to visit this area, a few hotels are scattered throughout the lake, but there are better ways to immerse yourself in the experience. You will find that camping is the most popular lodging. National parks, state parks, and dozens of privately owned campgrounds offer sites for everything from primitive to luxury camping. But for the ultimate experience, a houseboat is the way to go.
Lake Cumberland is home to thousands of houseboats littered up and down its coves and marinas. Why? Because 80% of all houseboats built in America were manufactured in the Lake Cumberland area. You will see multi-million dollar boats and some smaller, more economical versions. You will need to park that houseboat in a cove in mid-June.
In the middle of June, the Thunder Run for powerboats brings in boats and tourists from all over the world. It is one of the best poker runs on water. Powerboats race from dock to dock, gathering poker cards, and at the last stop, the boat with the best hand wins. The lake is an exciting place to be that weekend.
Want to meet other campers and boaters? Well, there is a place for that. Party Cove sees up to a hundred boats docked together for one massive party. You will meet many locals and hear the legends of the lake. You can swim, enjoy a beverage, and then see a spectacular sunset.
Are you not sold yet?
Let's explore recreation around the lake:
- Horseback riding
- Country clubs
- Historical Theater
- Pubs and nightlife
- Go Kart racing and family fun center
- Thrift shopping
- Wolf Creek Dam and Fish Hatchery
- Car shows
- County fairs and festivals
- Guided fishing
- Boating and boat rentals
- And much more
There is something for everyone.
Lake Cumberland is family friendly. Families are welcome and encouraged. Somerset is the largest city in the lake area. Here you will find many highly rated play parks and a popular waterpark. You can drive the 25 mile scenic route to Cumberland Falls.
Cumberland Falls is a Kentucky state park. It attracts tourists from all over the world because of its famous moonbow. This breathtaking waterfall has a rare phenomenon called a “moonbow.” It is also known as a white rainbow or lunar rainbow. It is formed just like a rainbow. The light from the moon is refracted in tiny water droplets. It only appears for two days when the sky is clear.
While at the park, check out the over 50 miles of hiking trails. These trails vary in difficulty from easy to strenuous for the expert. After seeing the falls, you can stop in the park's gift shop and see Kentucky native crafts and souvenirs.
If golf is appealing, you will find five-star country clubs that offer recreation for the whole family. Many offer camping, swimming pools, and excellent restaurants. Somerset Country Club features a Par 70 and up, down, and side hill shots. The course is known as a shot makers course. This course is considered fun and a challenge to novice and seasoned golfers. The 18 holes span over combinations of rolling hills, wooded panoramas, and picturesque creeks and ponds.
Now let's find you a camping site.
Pulaski County Park is just outside of Somerset, KY. It has been undergoing improvements for the past few years and has become very popular due to the in campground beach and boat dock. It offers primitive and full hook-up sites.
The US Army Corp of Engineers maintains the lake and operates 5 campgrounds scattered around the lake. There are 2 on the east end, 2 on the central, and 1 on the west side. Waitsboro Campground is located on the east end of the lake. It sits on a cliff just above the water, and the view and the sunsets are remarkable. It is some of God's most incredible artwork. Waitsboro also has its own boat ramp.
Kendall Recreation Area, located on the west end, is adjacent to Wolf Creek Dam. It also lies at the base of the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. The hatchery is a great way to learn more about the lake and its surrounding forest. There is a family friendly museum with hands-on educational activities. The hatchery is also open to the public. Millions of Trout are born and raised here. The tanks range from babies to full grown adults. It is free of charge. KRC is a fisherman's dream because it has access to two boat ramps. One leading to the Cumberland River and the other to Lake Cumberland. Trout fishing below the dam is arguably the best in the state. Above the dam, Stripe Bass are plentiful and have been known to be record breaking.
Conley Bottom Marina is in Monticello, KY. The marina is always a bustle of activities. You can rent a boat, gas up your own, buy souvenirs and share a pizza with the family. The marina is a beautiful way to spend an afternoon. Locals are usually around for lake tips and good fishing spots. Hidden Ridge Camping campground spans 53 acres of impressive and serene landscape. They offer experiences from roughing it to all amenities available. Check out their music festivals to experience the real essence of Kentucky.
A Google search will bring up hundreds of campgrounds near Lake Cumberland. Do a little research, and you can find your perfect spot. Bring the family or don’t; memories will be made and probably laughed about for years to come.
And here is the most important information about Lake Cumberland, the fishing report. This lake is known for its outstanding fishing. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass, channel catfish, black and white crappie, walleye, bluegill, white bass, and striped bass are plentiful in Lake Cumberland. You can also hire a fishing guide for a successful trip. Fishing reports can easily be found. Anglers have ranked world record fish and even a 208lb catfish.
Lake Cumberland is God's country. Some of His most beautiful artwork surrounds the area, and also some of His people too. Churches on every corner, and that love your neighbor attitude is the norm in this region. Please don't judge it by other tourists. Campers and boaters are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet because meeting people is part of the adventure.
3 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. 2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3. Remember those in prison as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.
According to scripture, meeting strangers is an opportunity to show God's love.
Matthew 25: 35-46
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[f] you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.[g] 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
WOW, whatever you do to the least of these. Who is the least of these? All those in need. Our vision is one of the main issues in fulfilling this love and generosity. Our brain tends to block out the things that may be difficult to see or understand.
We turn our heads from the homeless, the mentally ill, and the addicts. Why? Because it reveals the evil, hopelessness, and state of the world? Yes. But it also can indicate the state of our compassion and love. Ouch. We are all guilty of this unconsciousness.
1 John 4: 8-12
8. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
Have you ever pondered on the fact that God is love? How can we love if God is love and we don't know God? The proof of our relationship with God is how we love. Our love is the measure by which others and God judge us.
John 13: 34-35
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Jesus died for our sins because he knew a sacrifice was required for our sins. He did it because He loves us. He is our only hope in this world filled with war, famine, natural disasters, evil, and sin. If we confess our sins, He will forgive us. He has only asked 2 things from us. Love Him and love everyone else, also.
We must pray God will open our eyes to the opportunities to show His love through us. Just like Saul on the road of Damascus, we are blinded to our own shortcomings and the darkness around us.
16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
How do we minister to those in need? I once heard a minister say one of the craziest things. He said whatever we need from God is what we must sew. Let me clarify. If you need more money, give money. If you need healing, minister to the sick. If asking for your children to be saved, minister to someone else's children. This sounds contradictive to logic. But while meditating on this concept, God proved to me it was the truth by giving me examples.
1 Kings 8-16
8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days. 16 There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
A perfect example, isn't it? Let's also consider the farmer.
Galatians 6: 7
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.
If you plant corn, you get corn. If you sow watermelon, you will not reap potatoes. If you plant love, forgiveness, compassion, light, and joy, that is what you will reap.
We must sow love not only to those immediately around us, but we have to sow love to a lost and dying world. When your eyes are opened, you do not see a homeless person as lazy, criminal, addicted, mentally ill, or worthless. You see God's creation. Someone's child. Someone's brother, sister, mother, father, and friend. No one should travel through this world without love if we, the body of Christ, are here to shine it.
Prayer, compassion, and smiles are free. Even the poorest of us have great things to offer.