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Cumberland River Description

Cumberland River Description

The Cumberland River is an especially beautiful river.

In 1748, an Englishman named Dr. Thomas Walker led a party of hunters across the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia. Walker was an explorer and surveyor of renown, and is described as a man of mark among the pioneers. They gave the name “Cumberland” to the lofty range of mountains they crossed, in honor of the Duke of Cumberland who’s ancestral lands they were reminded of and included a picturesque region of lakes and mountains in northern England. Walker’s party pursued their journey by way of the Cumberland Gap into what is today Tennessee. Finding a beautiful mountain stream flowing across their course they called it the “Cumberland River.” The Cumberland River is said to have been called Warioto by the Cherokee Indians and Shauvanon by the French traders.

The Cumberland River is 688 miles long. It begins as three separate forks that combine in Harlan County, KY. Martins Fork starts in Hensley Settlement (Kentucky) on Brush Mountain in Bell County, KY and snakes its way north through the mountains to Baxter, KY. Clover Fork starts on Black Mountain (Kentucky) in Holmes Mill, KY, near the Virginia border, and flows west paralleling Kentucky Route 38 until it reaches Harlan, KY. Originally, Clover Fork flowed through downtown Harlan and merged with Martin’s Fork at the intersection of Kentucky Route 38 and US Route 421. However, as part of a flood control project in 1992, the Clover Fork was diverted through a tunnel under Little Black Mountain, emerging in Baxter, KY where it joined with Martins Fork. Poor Fork starts as a small stream on Pine Mountain (Appalachian Mountains) in Letcher County, KY near Flat Gap, VA. It flows southwest paralleling Pine Mountain until it merges with the other two forks in Baxter, KY. From there, the wider river continues flowing west through the mountains of Kentucky to Cumberland Falls.


Cumberland Falls, 68 feet (21 m) high, is one of the largest waterfalls in the eastern United States and is one of the few places in the Western Hemisphere where a moonbow can be seen.


Past Cumberland Falls, the river continues to grow in size as it’s many tributaries join as creeks and streams. It is the source waters of Lake Cumberland, Cordell Hull Lake, Old Hickory Lake, Cheatham Lake and Lake Barkley. After flowing through Nashville, the river continues west through Tennessee and back into Kentucky at the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, a section of land nestled between Lake Barkley, which is fed by the Cumberland River, and Kentucky Lake. Finally, the river flows north and merges with the Ohio River northwest of Paducah, KY.
*wiki leaves out Cordell Hull Lake upstream of Old Hickory Lake and Cheatham Lake downstream of Old Hickory Lake
Credit for Description above: Wikipedia

Wiki/Creative Commons License for description above only:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/



Please consider showing your appreciation of The Cumberland River by picking up some litter during your next visit, many hands make light work.

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