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Williamsburg, Kentucky: Moonbow at Cumberland Falls

During nights on or near a full moon, when the sky's clear, Cumberland Falls creates a Moonbow, which it claims is "a phenomenon not found anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere."

7351 KY-90, Williamsburg, KY
I-75 exit 25. Drive west on US Hwy 25 W/Cumberland Falls Hwy for 7.5 miles. Bear right onto Hwy 90. Drive eight miles. You'll see the sign for the parking lot and visitor center on the right.
Only visible after dark. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Moonbow at Cumberland Falls

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Cumberland Falls - Moonbow

We arrived late in the day and found the place still buzzing with people. While beautiful, there were a lot of bugs (to be expected, so bring a blocker because we were bit up pretty bad), no easy water access (signs said no wading even), and the bathrooms were wretched.

The Falls are really pretty, and the surrounding trails are a treat. Nice access (except at the central overlook) for people with strollers, like us, as well as people in wheelchairs or using walkers.

[Brickner3, 07/25/2010]

Rainbow over the falls.

Cumberland Falls - Moonbow

On our way to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, TN, we saw the sign at the side of the highway -- a great side trip. More interesting than most of the falls in the National Park, worth seeing, falls enthusiast or not. If you want to see the moonbow, go when night comes earlier (fall, winter, spring) -- you will have a better chance of seeing it before the park closes.

[Gail and Greg Eckels, 08/24/2009]

The park website thoughtfully lists yearly "Moonbow Dates" when visitors have the best chance to see it.

Cumberland Falls - See the Moonbow

Beautiful falls, and if you hit it right, the chance to see a moonbow (a rainbow caused my moon light). The moonbow can only be seen on crystal clear nights a couple of days around the full moon. I didn't see it. While it rained, several locals (who were there anyway, just in case) recommended coming during the winter. The falls are worth seeing whether or not you see the moonbow.

[Laurel Bishow, 07/04/2004]
Moon Bow - Rainbow visible at night

The Moon Bow is a rain bow only visible at night. It is located near Corbin, KY in an area known as Cumberland Gap. The Moon Bow is only visble on a very clear night during a full moon. The best time for viewing is aroung midnight. According to literature, this natural phenomenon only occurs in two places in the world -- the other is in Victoria Falls, Africa. The moon and this waterfall are in alignment so the the moon's light creates the "Moon Bow" in the spray created by the water fall. The night I was there I never saw a complete bow but the prism was clearly visible and was about 15 feet wide. I recommend a night's accommodation at the Dupont Lodge. The lodge is just minutes from the Moon Bow. It is a requirement to eat dinner at the lodge and sit next to the window. They throw out food and opossums, racoons, skunks, and foxes come there and eat while you enjoy your dinner.

[Randal Holloway, 11/26/2001]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Tiny Post OfficeTiny Post Office, Sawyer, KY - 5 mi.
Natural ArchNatural Arch, Parkers Lake, KY - 9 mi.
Colonel Sanders StatueColonel Sanders Statue, Corbin, KY - 16 mi.
In the region:
Prepare to Meet God, Tazewell, TN - 47 mi.

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