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Lake Cumberland

Lake Cumberland reservoir is located in several Kentucky counties -- Clinton, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, and Wayne. The Army Corps of Engineers impounded the lake with Wolf Creek Dam on the Cumberland River as a means for flood control and for the production of hydroelectric power in 1952. The reservoir ranks ninth in the U.S. in size, with 6,100,000 acre feet of water capacity, making this lake the 25th largest in the U.S. The main portion of Cumberland Lake is 101 miles long and over one mile across at its widest point.

Lake Cumberland is also a major source of tourism for south-central Kentucky. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers controls or maintains 383 lakes, and this lake ranks fourth among them in the nation for number of visitor hours. The lake is home to two Kentucky state parks -- the lake surrounds Lake Cumberland State Resort Park on three sides, and General Burnside State Park is located on an island in the middle of the lake.


Several of Kentucky's record fish were taken from Lake Cumberland waters, including:

1954: Sturgeon weighing 36 pounds, eight ounces
1958: Walleye weighing 21 pounds, eight ounces
1983: Sauger weighing seven pounds, seven ounces
1985: Striped bass weighing 58 pounds, four ounces

Anglers can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, crappie, walleye, striped bass, sauger, bluegill, and channel catfish. Lake Cumberland is noted for their smallmouth bass, striped bass, and walleye. The striped bass fishery is one of the best in the US.

The Cumberland River from the dam downstream to the Tennessee border is known as one of the premier rainbow and brown trout fisheries in the southeast. Bank and wade anglers have success in the upper sixteen miles of river just below the dam. Boat ramps are located just below the dam, at Helms landing, and at Winfrey's Ferry. Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, which raises nearly 800,000 trout each year to stock Kentucky's waters, is located below Lake Cumberland Dam.


   Search Lake Cumberland Resources
    Lake Cumberland KY Coordinates:
36.8889N -85.0500W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
65,530 acres
Maximum Depth:
197 ft
722 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
4 ft
Major City:
Bowling Green


Lake Cumberland is all about boating. Several marinas on the lake offering full services. View the Lake Resource Guide for all the boating resources.

Boating In Kentucky

Boat License - Boat Certificate

Boat Courses

Boat Registration

Boat Equipment Requirements

Boat Insurance Kentucky


Lake Cumberland State Park lodge with 63 rooms and offers full amenities. They offer a limited number of lodge rooms for pets. Lake Cumberland cottages and campground sites are also available. Additional lodging is avaiable on the lake. Please review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


The closest major city is Bowling Green. Other nearby Kentucky cities; Monticello, Gradyville, Somerset. The lake is located in Clinton, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell and Wayne counties.

Fun times at Lake Cumberland  lake cumberland

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Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  44 Avg. High  48 Avg. High  57 Avg. High  68 Avg. High  75 Avg. High  83 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  85 Avg. High  79 Avg. High  69 Avg. High  58 Avg. High  46
Avg. Low  25 Avg. Low  28 Avg. Low  35 Avg. Low  44 Avg. Low  53 Avg. Low  61 Avg. Low  65 Avg. Low  64 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  44 Avg. Low  36 Avg. Low  29