The Cumberland River is a major waterway of the Southern United States. The 688-mile-long river drains almost 18,000 square miles of southern Kentucky and north-central Tennessee. The river flows generally west from a source in the Appalachian Mountains to its confluence with the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky, and the mouth of the Tennessee River.
Important first as a passage for hunters and settlers, the Cumberland River also supported later riverboat trade, which traveled to the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Villages, towns, and cities were located at landing points along its banks. Through the middle of the 19th century, settlers depended on rivers as the primary transportation routes for trading and travel.
As with my many other photo projects following rivers, lakes and other waterways around the US, I’m most interested in the landscapes, culture, commerce, recreation, architecture and life in the mostly small towns as close to the water as possible. This can be seen in the geotracks below mirroring the actual course of the river.