This trail was a highlight of my recent trip to Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky. After viewing the impressive Cumberland Falls from the lookouts near the visitor center, I asked a Ranger about hikes in the park. He said that Eagle Falls Trail was his favorite.
To get to the trailhead cross the bridge that you can see just upstream of Cumberland Falls and the parking area is on the right almost immediately. This is a 2.5 mile trail if you include the optional loop and gorge overlook. If you omit those you can get to Eagle Falls in just 1.5 miles round trip.
The trail follows the bank of the Cumberland River with views of the Cumberland Falls always visible through the trees. Being in southeastern Kentucky, the trail is always going up or down.
I bypassed the Gorge Overlook and went straight towards Eagle Falls. Right before coming to the rickety metal staircase to the riverbank, I did get one good look at Cumberland Falls unencumbered by the trees.
After climbing over rocks and around a few huge boulders, Eagle Falls finally came into view spilling water 44 feet below.
I climbed back up the metal staircase and took the loop part of the trail which follows Eagle Creek. The first half of the loop is dominated by rhododendrons everywhere. I came upon a really nice slick rock feature that if it had been summertime I would have had to slide into the pool in the creek.
The trail then begins a steep incline to the top of a hill that looked like prime bear habitat. After topping the hill the trail comes back around to return the main trail. Since it was still light I decided to climb the 134 steps in just .1 mile to the Gorge Overlook. It was a great view.
After descending back down the return to the trailhead didn’t take long. It was a great hike and despite the picture taking just took a little over an hour. rk