How Long Is the Cumberland River From Start to End? Today

The Cumberland River is one of the most important waterways in the American South. Whether you’re a local or someone planning to travel to this area sometime soon, you might be wondering where this river begins and ends and what cities it snakes through along the way. Let’s discuss how long the Cumberland River actually is, explore its depth, and review recreational activities visitors can participate in along this body of water.The Cumberland River: A Brief OverviewAt its widest point, this river measures roughly two miles across. ©f11photo/iStock via Getty Images Located in both Kentucky and Tennessee, the Cumberland River is a massive waterway that spans a variety of major cities. Throughout history, this river has been used as an important trade route, food source, and means of travel. According to the Register of Kentucky State Historical Society, “Dr. Thomas Walker, of Virginia, in 1758, named the river, but whether for the Duke of Cumberland or named for the English county, it is not satisfactorily decided.” Individuals who come to visit this river today enjoy participating in activities such as kayaking, fishing, paddle boating, and bird watching. Several locations along this river are located within local parks where guests can camp, hike, picnic, or simply immerse themselves in nature. Swimming in this lake is not recommended as the water quality is considered poor.How Long Is the Cumberland River Exactly?Throughout the years, the Cumberland River has undergone countless transformations. ©Sean Pavone/ The Cumberland River is approximately 688 miles long from start to finish. The headwaters of this river begin in Lechter County and the mouth of the river converges with the Ohio River, located in Livingston County. It drains roughly 18,000 square miles of land and has an average depth of about 90 feet. This is one of the longest rivers in both Kentucky and Tennessee. It is only eclipsed in length by the Mississippi River and the Ohio River. This river begins and ends in the state of Kentucky, but it snakes through several cities in Tenessee in between. Clarksville and Nashville are the two of the most populous cities along this river. Locals praise this river for its beauty, and one of the most scenic locations along its length is Cumberland Falls. Nicknamed the “Niagara of the South,” this 69-foot waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. It is located within Cumberland Falls State Resort Park where roughly one million people come to enjoy its natural beauty annually.Other Local Rivers Comparable to the Cumberland River Although the Cumberland River is an excellent destination, there are a handful of other similar rivers in the surrounding area. For example, the Tennessee River is comparable in size to the Cumberland River at 652 miles long. Although these two bodies of water don’t have any cities in common, the Tennessee River passes through other major cities, such as Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Huntsville. The Ohio River is much longer than the Cumberland River at 981 miles. As we stated above, this river merges with the Cumberland River at its mouth. This makes it an easy and convenient location to travel to if you’re already in the area. Both the Ohio River and the Tennessee River offer similar recreation opportunities. However, individuals are warned against swimming in these waters as well.Final Thoughts The Cumberland River has been an important location for countless generations. While some people visit the Cumberland River to kick back and relax, others spend their time here exploring and hiking. Projections for the future are hopeful as local authorities are working tirelessly to restore the water quality. In time, locals may be able to enjoy swimming in this river once more. Whatever you choose to do, rest assured that visiting this little oasis is well worth your time and effort. The photo featured at the top of this post is © f11photo/iStock via Getty Images 3 United States Rivers Older Than the Mississippi River How Deep Is The Yukon River? How Deep Is the Missouri River? Share on: How to Add Us to Google News Sending You to Google News in 3 About the Author Alanna Davis Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology. Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

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