Virtual Field Trip: Lakes, Rivers and Waterfalls of Kentucky

Target Audience: Grades 3-6


We are lucky to live in a state full of beautiful lakes, rivers and waterfalls to explore! Let’s take a virtual field trip and check out some of Kentucky’s breathtaking natural resources.

We’ll begin in our hometown, Louisville, which is located right on the Ohio River.



In southern Indiana, right across from Louisville and located on the banks of the Ohio River, you will find the Falls of the Ohio. Here you can explore fossil beds that date back 350 million years to the Devonian era, when what is now Louisville was at the bottom of an ancient ocean. If it weren’t for the Falls of the Ohio, Louisville would not be the bustling city it is today…find out why on the Falls of the Ohio website.


From the Falls of the Ohio, we’ll drive back into Kentucky and head west on US 60 towards Rough River Lake. How was Rough River Lake formed? Check out the link to find out! There’s lots to do at Rough River. But let’s keep moving…south to the largest man-made lake in the eastern United States, Kentucky Lake!

As you get closer to the Tennessee/Kentucky border, you’ll find Kentucky Lake. While you’re in the area, you’ll want to visit Land Between the Lakes. Located 90 miles north of Nashville, TN, Land Between the Lakes was formed when Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley were created by damming the Cumberland River and Tennessee River. It is literally a peninsula of land between the two lakes, and FULL of activities and nature to explore.  


Hope you’re not too tired, because there’s plenty more to see! Let’s head east towards the third largest lake in Kentucky, Lake Cumberland. Wondering when we were going to see some waterfalls?  Now’s your chance! CumberlandFalls2.JPG (48583 bytes)


At Cumberland Falls State Park, you will discover the second largest waterfall in the eastern United States, and one of only two moon bows in the WORLD. What is a moon bow, you may ask? Check out the link to find out. When is the next full moon, anyway?


I don’t know about you, but all this virtual traveling has me in the mood for some camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing, fishing and of course relaxing while taking in the gorgeous sights that Kentucky has to offer. You don’t have to travel too far from home, but you do have to get off the computer! So print out a map, grab an adult and take a REAL field trip! (Don’t forget your sunscreen).


By Melanie Cadima

Bellarmine University