Lake Cumberland was originally planned during the 1920’s and enacted by Congress in the 1930’s, with ground breaking in the early 1940’s, the Wolf Creek Project began construction of Lake Cumberland under the supervision of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Early construction of Wolf Creek Dam to impound the Cumberland River was halted by World War II. Following the war, work resumed and the dam was closed in 1950, beginning what was originally named Wolf Creek Reservoir. The lake was completed for full use in August 1952.
The name “Wolf Creek” comes from the original planned location for the dam, several miles upstream near the confluence of Wolf Creek with the Cumberland River. Though the location changed, the name remained. The body of water was officially named “Lake Cumberland” in 1954. The lake was formed by damming a large section of the Cumberland River.
Wolf Creek Dam is the 22nd largest dam in the United States. Operation of the lake is for the primary purposes of flood control and production of hydro-electric power. The Wolf Creek Dam, powerhouse, and lake are operated and supervised by the Corps of Engineers.
Lake Cumberland is 101 miles long and is one of the largest man-made lakes in the nation. Each year millions of visitors travel from all over the United States to come to the Lake Cumberland area to enjoy the rugged beauty of its 63,000 surface acres and 1,255 miles of wooded shoreline. Lake Cumberland touches several counties in southern Kentucky and ranks 9th in the US in size. Lake Cumberland has a capacity of 6.1 million acres of water, enough to cover the entire state of Kentucky with 3 inches of water. That’s roughly 1.9 trillion gallons of water!
Whether you are renting a houseboat, bringing your own boat, fishing, swimming, or skiing, you’ll discover the tranquility and beauty that Lake Cumberland offers.