Explore the Basin

Discover 18,000 square miles of rugged wilderness, beautiful streams and charming towns in the Cumberland River Basin of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Watersheds of the Basin

Cumberland River above Cumberland Falls by Chuck Sutherland

Lake Cumberland

Endangered gray bats spend nights foraging for insects over streams and the placid waters of the reservoir. Spectaclecase mussels avoid strong currents beneath the bluffs

Read More »
Gatlin Point, Lake Barkley, Chuck Sutherland

Lower Cumberland

That said, it doesn’t lack for superlatives. It is home to more surface water and more wetlands than any other watershed in the Cumberland River

Read More »
Collins River photograph taken by Chuck Sutherland

Collins River

Savage Gulf is a majestic canyon in the region, where the waters of the Collins River, Big Creek, and Savage Creek dance between narrow canyon

Read More »
East Fork Obey River by Chuck Sutherland

Obey River

As the Obey flows west, beyond the Cumberland Plateau, it reaches Dale Hollow Lake, a reservoir created to control flooding and provide hydropower by the

Read More »
Caney Fork River by Chuck Sutherland

Caney Fork River

The Caney Fork watershed is drained by the Cumberland’s longest tributary, the Caney Fork River. This 143-mile river was named for the cane breaks Europeans

Read More »
Upper Cumberland River - Chuck Sutherland

Upper Cumberland

Rainbow darter and hogsuckers swim amongst the fast creek riffles, and fourtoed salamanders burrow within the mosses of boggy wetlands. Hemlock and magnolia trees can

Read More »
Rockcastle River KY by Chuck Sutherland

Rockcastle

Sections of the Rockcastle are protected under the state of Kentucky’s Wild Rivers Program and the river has been recognized with an Outstanding National Resource

Read More »
South Fork River at Big South Fork - Chuck Sutherland

Big South Fork

In the drainage, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area attracts over 600,000 people and contributes over $10 million to local economies annually.

Read More »

Businesses in the basin

FEATURED WATERSHED

Lake Cumberland