Established January 1, 1951
In 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker, the first frontiersman into Kentucky, stood on a high bluff overlooking a giant river. Impressed by this stream flowing from the mountains of southeastern Kentucky, he named it in honor of the Duke of Cumberland, son of George II of England. Some 200 years later, Wolf Creek Dam was constructed on the Cumberland River forming Lake Cumberland, the third largest lake in Kentucky.
On January 1, 1951, the Secretary of the Army granted 2,791 acres of land to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to be developed as a state park recreation area. Construction began that year on a lodge and access road into the park. Although small, it was considered to be an outstanding park facility when completed in 1952. Originally called Lure Lodge because of the fine fishing on the lake, the name was changed to Pumpkin Creek Lodge when the present Lodge opened in 1962. Built with park labor, the Pumpkin Creek Lodge featured 15 rooms, a dining room for 40 guests, and an entrance lounge with a rustic stone fireplace.
There was a great demand for dock facilities on the new lake and a new dock was completed and placed in operation in 1952. Originally located at the old Rowena Ferry site, the dock moved to its present location after the road into the park was completed. Throughout the rest of the 1950s, park development included completion of 10 rustic vacation cottages, a campground with service facilities, roads and parking areas, general landscaping and acquisition of additional acreage to protect the park entrance.
The new Lure Lodge was built on a steep cliff overlooking one of the broadest expanses of water on Lake Cumberland. When its first guests arrived on September 8, 1962, Lure Lodge had but 24 guest rooms. Three years later, 24 additional rooms were added as was a lodge pool and bathhouse.
The 1960s proved to be a period of increased popularity for Kentucky State Parks. Facilities added at Lake Cumberland during this time included a 9-hole, par-3 golf course, 10 two-bedroom ranch cottages, riding stables and trails, tennis courts, playgrounds, expanded dock facilities, a community swimming pool, and a grocery store with gift shop.
The 1970s saw the construction of the 10 “Wildwood” cottages, activities center, country store, mini golf course and additional employee houses.
The 1980s were also a busy time at the park. Pumpkin Creek Lodge underwent a major renovation, remodeled inside and out, while care was taken to retain the basic appearance of the structure. The accommodations were updated but reduced in number to the current 13 and the original dining room was returned to use as a meeting room. Late in 1988, an indoor recreation area was opened covering the existing lodge pool and included exercise rooms, Jacuzzi, and game room. Above it all were 15 new lodge rooms.
To keep the facilities up-to-date, each winter has seen some of the rooms or cottages being upgraded. During the mid 1990s, work also included a complete renovation of Lure Lodge, renovation of Pumpkin Creek Lodge rooms, replacement of the country store and riding stables, maintenance upgrades to the community pool, replacement of the tennis courts, and the addition of three parking areas for marina guests.
Most recently, Pumpkin Creek Lodge has undergone a complete renovation. The par-3 golf course was converted to an 18-hole disk golf course. With these improvements, Lake Cumberland State Resort Park will remain one of the premier Kentucky State Resort Parks and a major tourist attraction in Russell County and south central Kentucky.
Any season offers exceptional viewing prospects of raptors which include the red-tailed hawk, coopers hawk, American kestrel, great horned owl, barred owl and screech owl. Autumn and winter seem to be the prime viewing times of the wood duck, green heron, great blue heron, belted kingfisher, whip-poor-will and the mallard that reside along the lake shore. Numerous species come to life in the spring and summer such as gold finches, eastern bluebirds, cardinals, wrens, tufted titmice, hummingbirds, pileated woodpeckers, and many other beautiful species.
Excellent birding opportunities exist throughout the park, but of special note are the numerous nesting chimney swifts high in the cliff walls of the boat ramp road. Flocks of turkey vultures also gather and roost in the hardwoods along the State Dock road every evening near dusk. Wild turkey can be seen in or near the hardwoods and along the scenic trails throughout the park.
Lake Cumberland "The Houseboat Capital of the World" is a paradise for the water sports enthusiast. The marina offers 100 open slips, rental fishing boats, pontoon boats, houseboats, and ski boats.
* Boat hook ups are not available at this time.
The park’s 129-site campground offers utility hookups, three central service buildings with showers and rest rooms, laundry facilities, two dump stations, and a grocery nearby. Open year round but water is turned off from November 1st through March 15th.
Disc golf is played like traditional golf. Instead of using a ball and clubs, players throw a flying disc or frisbee®. The sport which was first played formally in the early 1970’s, shares with “ball golf” the goal of completing a hole in the fewest number of strokes-or throws! Disc golf shares many of the same joys, and challenges as traditional “ball” golf, whether you’re sinking a long putt or hitting a tree halfway down the fairway. However, there are a number of key differences. First, disc golf at Lake Cumberland does not require a greens fee or a cart rental. With disc golf, you never get stuck with a bad “tee time.” Disc golf can be enjoyed by people of all ages, male and female, and is an inexpensive sport.
With 50,250 acres, Lake Cumberland has an abundance of largemouth, smallmouth, white and Kentucky bass, bluegill, crappie, rockfish, and walleye. The fishing is better than normal after the level reduction to 37,000 acres.
If you love geocaching then Lake Cumberland State Resort Park is the place to be. There are numerous quality caches on the park and are just waiting to be found! Grab your GPS and make your way to N 36° 55.822 W 085° 02.425 for some outdoor caching fun!
Enjoy the beauty of the beech, oak and hickory forests and scenic lake overlooks on two park hiking trails. A four-mile loop trail around the Lure Lodge area, and a 1.5-mile trail (one-way, 3 miles total distance including return) with a lake overlook near the park entrance (parking available).
For a day of just "putting around," the 18-hole miniature golf course is perfect for family fun. Course is open year-round. RATES Ages 13 & Older: $4.00 Children 5-12: $3.00 Children 4 & under: Free
The picnic grounds have tables, grills, and playgrounds for family outings. A picnic shelter has tables, grills, water, and electric; and may be reserved for rental up to one year in advance. Fee for shelter rental.
Playgrounds for the youngsters can be found in the lodge area.
The indoor pool complex at Lure Lodge features a temperature-controlled pool with a hot tub and a game room.
The entire family will enjoy a day of fun and games on the tennis courts adjacent to Lure Lodge. Overnight guests may check out sports equipment.