Lake Cumberland is water fun for everyone
If you’re like me and love fishing, chances are you’ve visited Lake Cumberland at least once in your lifetime. But if you haven’t and a weekend getaway is what you’re after, then Cumberland might be exactly what you need.
Rather than packing up and heading to the ocean this year, I decided to spend a week-long vacation a little closer to home at Lake Cumberland — and it didn’t disappoint.
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park covers 65,530 acres. It’s a reservoir that touches Clinton, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell and Wayne counties.
While having your own boat sure is convenient, it’s not always necessary. With 1,255 miles of shoreline, Lake Cumberland has plenty of space for bank fishing.
If the boating experience is what you’re after there are many opportunities to rent fishing boats, houseboats, pontoon boats and ski boats. The lake has some of the state’s most experienced anglers who also offer guided fishing tours for those looking to catch the big ones.
After hours of early morning fishing and swimming on the first day of our trip, we had worked up an appetite and were in search of some good local grub. We didn’t have to go far to find it as we settled in to eat at the lake’s new restaurant, the Cumberland Tap.
The lake’s newest bar and grill near the Jamestown Resort and Marina offers a full menu, with a variety of drink options and 18 beers on tap. I enjoyed the bacon cheeseburger and chips, with beer cheese made by Country Boys Brewing for dipping sauce. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I ordered it both times we visited.
At a table outside, right on the water, I washed down my meal with a cold Blue Moon beer as I watched some of the neatest houseboats I have ever seen come and go from the nearby dock.
I didn’t get a chance to check out Cumberland Tap on a weekend night, but a waitress told me the food, drinks and live music bring in a huge weekend crowd.
Fishing and swimming aren’t the only activities available at Lake Cumberland. For those looking to immerse themselves in nature, the lake is home to an abundant wildlife population and two hiking trails that lead you through it. There is the four-mile Lake Bluff Trail in Jamestown that ends at a scenic lake overlook, as well as the Baugh Branch Trail which is about 1.6 miles, and also leads to a lake overlook.
Families can enjoy guided horseback trail rides that are available daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., from Memorial Day to Labor Day for $18 per person.
While I spent most of my time on the Jamestown side of the lake, there are numerous other areas and docks to explore on Lake Cumberland, each with their own unique characteristics.
Whether you’re looking for a good fishing spot, somewhere to swim or a place to get away and watch the big houseboats float by, Lake Cumberland has something for everyone — and it’s right down the road.
Road Trip Facts
• Lake Cumberland State Resort Park is located in south central Kentucky at 5465 State Park Road, Jamestown.
• A Kentucky fishing license is requried to fish on the lake and can be purchased online at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife website: app.fw.ky.gov/license/waonlinefront.aspx.
• The state park has a 129-site campground and is open April 1 through Oct. 31. There are also hotel rooms, condos and cabins available for rental.
• For more information on Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, contact (270) 343-3111.