I had never seen Niagara Falls when I saw Cumberland Falls for the first time at the age of 12. As far as I was concerned, I sort of WAS gazing at Niagara Falls--Kentucky's version. Surely, Niagara couldn't be any bigger than the one I was looking at.

But that doesn't make Cumberland Falls any less spectacular if you haven't seen either of them before. It's a waterfall, and I'm a fan of every one of them, big or small.

Incredible, right? And when I saw at as a boy, it was BROWN, and I was still impressed. Of course, since I was a kid I imagined that being this gigantic CHOCOLATE MILK fall. And I'm not above wishing that was a thing NOW, but I digress.

Because seriously, there are folks who take big risks when it comes to waterfalls, and one of them is kayaking down them. So, understand something...


And it did not go unnoticed:

Yes, it might look like fun (I don't happen to think so), but it is very dangerous and it's the exact kind of activity that led to an accident at Cumberland Falls a few days ago. That led the Whitley County Sheriff's Department to issue a warning:

Obviously, we're thankful the individual in question will be alright, but this could have gone a whole other TERRIBLE direction.

Hey, if you like kayaking on rapids, there is no shortage of opportunities in Kentucky--including at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. It's part of the Kentucky Wildlands and the park officials WANT you to enjoy the amazing waters at Cumberland.

But they want you to do it safely and, yes, legally. It's the best way to have fun.

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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