A local Ky gem – Cumberland Falls

After a nearly two week adventure out West, we decided to start finding local places to camp we haven’t visited before.

Our first selection ended up being easy, we have some friends who enjoyed rafting on the Cumberland River in Cumberland Falls / Corbin, Kentucky area earlier in the summer.

Please note: The Sturgills have never rafted before. This was a guided raft tour and was mild (I will have to look up the class ratings, I believe it was 2); so if you are looking for some major rafting, it’s not here. However, this was a perfect intro for us to another adventure and Tripp said for our next trip to Yellowstone we will be rafting……we will see about that.

We live a couple hours north of Corbin, so we had no problem driving down Friday afternoon. We were able to reserve a pull through campsite at Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort; the same place we would be leaving from Saturday for our rafting trip. Sheltowee offers several canoe/kayak trips as well as rafting. They also have tubing. The variety of their offerings is great and their staff is phenomenal.

Our campsite was very level, had plenty of space for the MH plus our toad. We setup the grill outside and had a typical campsite meal of hot dogs and pasta salad (SEE! I told you we do actually cook when we camp) and had great reception to relax and watch TV our first night. For Sheltowee to only have a handful of each back-in and pull-through sites, we were very pleased. Our site had full hook-ups, which is always convenient for leaving day and ensures that we have plenty of space to do any laundry (yes, Huckleberry Tiffin has a washer/dryer in the bathroom). On Saturday evening, I was happy to do laundry since we spent all day in the Cumberland River.

This picture depicts a relaxing evening, chilling outside our home on wheels.

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Saturday morning, we had to meet our group in the Sheltowee store at 9am. We needed to sign waivers and make any adjustments before then. Again, camping right there was a great convenience.

Tripp and Roy waiting to gear up for our rafting adventure.

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I’m going to be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot about the route we took or what  we passed. What I do remember is that we had a TON of fun! We were required to watch a safety video, hear about how to use our gear, took a bus from Sheltowee over to put into the river below Cumberland Falls. It was about 10ish by the time we were in a raft and working our way down river. That all went pretty quickly, and felt we had quite a bit of time (about 4 or 5 hours) rafting.

There were several areas of rapids, in between rapids at one point we jumped off a grouping of rocks into the river. Tripp LOVED that and jumped at least a dozen times. Roy and I both jumped a couple.

It was hard to get a picture of Tripp jumping off the rock… he wasn’t still long enough. But our wonderful guide Cory is in the background of this image also.

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Cory was able to tell that Tripp has absolutely no fear, and let him do some stuff while rafting like “riding the bull” on the front of our raft in one of the rapids. Tripp loved that. We also tried to “surf” sideways a few times in some of the rapids. Cory had a really good understanding of our path, everyone’s ability and sensed we were willing to try some adventures (mostly for Tripp…) and it was great.

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Also between some of the rapids, we were able to get into the water and swim or float downstream. This was fun also, the guides were a fun group and they helped different people explore in different ways. Tripp of course, was up for anything and found it hysterical when the guides would sneak up behind him and either throw him into the water or start to pull him into the boat and actually throw him back out. Their personalities were great for this adventure and it really kept Tripp entertained throughout!

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After the rafting part of our adventure was complete, we hooked all of the rafts and duckies from our group onto the Cumberland Star boat and sailed back to the take out point. We had lunch (thankfully, it was about 1:30 or 2 when rafting was complete) on the Star of subs, chips, assorted salads and desserts.

All in all, this was a great day that was really close to home. We will definitely be going back to Sheltowee to try tubing or one of their canoe/kayak trips and having the chance to camp right where we need to be in the morning was great!!

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Note/Tip: Cumberland State Park does have a campground, but they only offer 30amp electric service. We would be ok with that in cooler months, but this trip was in July so we opted to stay at a campground with 50 amp service, plus having a full hookup was nice. Kentucky State Parks don’t offer full hook ups in most locations, but most offer electric and water only.

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