A new year means new opportunities to see the mysterious and magical Kentucky moonbow that appears with each full moon.

What is a Moonbow?

A moonbow is created much like a rainbow. Light is refracted as it passes through drops of moisture in the air. However, unlike a rainbow where that light comes from the sun, a moonbow is created by moonlight.

How Rare Is It?

Moonbows happen occasionally at random all over the world, but there are actually only two places on Earth where moonbows happen with regularity. How regular? They happen for a couple of days before and a couple of days after every full moon.

WDKS-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Where Can You See Them?

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is one of two places in the world where you can regularly see a moonbow thanks to the mist created by the waterfall. If a trip to Africa isn't in your budget, we get it. It isn't in ours either. Fortunately, Kentucky is home to the only other location in the world where you can count on regularly seeing a moonbow.


The Great Commonwealth of Kentucky

Kentucky is home to Cumberland Falls, located inside Cumberland Falls State Park in Corbin and much like in Africa, the falls create the perfect conditions for moonbow viewing. The phenomenon occurs so regularly, at Cumberland Falls that they keep a list of viewing dates, coinciding with the full moons. While we have missed the first two full moons of 2023, there are still ten more opportunities to see a Kentucky moonbow. According to Cumberland Falls State Park's website, you can see them on the following dates:

Moonbow Dates 2023
January 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
February 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
March 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
April 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
May 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
June 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 30, 31
Aug 1, 2, 3, 27, 28, 30, 31
Sept 1, 27, 28, 29, 30
Oct 1, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
Nov 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
Dec 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

More to Do at Cumberland

There is plenty to do at Cumberland Falls State Park when you visit to do some moonbow viewing. The park is home to hiking, camping, fishing, birding, swimming, picnicking, and horseback riding. There is even gem mining! Of course, you can enjoy a stay in the DuPont Lodge, or one of the cottages, or have a meal at the Riverview Restaurant. Learn more here.

White Water Rafting at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky

This summer, we decided to go on our first real family adventure - white water rafting. There is a white water rafting tour about four hours from the tri-state at Cumberland Falls. Run by Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort, the tour lasts about six hours. It includes an up-close meet and greet with the falls, plenty of swimming, rock jumping, a riverboat ride, and lunch! Check out photos from our adventure.

Fun Glamping Sites in Kentucky

So you want to get away from it all...but NOT that far away from it all. Then you want to go glamping. Well, the Commonwealth of Kentucky will hook you up.

More From WDKS-FM