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The Cumberland River is a wild river above the headwaters of Lake Cumberland. One of the largest waterfalls in the eastern United States, Cumberland Falls, 68 feet (21 m) high, is on this river. Most of the river below Lake Cumberland's Wolf Creek Dam is navigable because of several locks and dams. A 90-mile section of its Big South Fork is protected by the National Park Service as Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
The Cumberland River is an important waterway in the Southern United States. It is 688 miles (1,107 km) long. It starts in Harlan County in eastern Kentucky on the Cumberland Plateau, flows through southeastern Kentucky and crosses into northern Tennessee, and then curves back up into western Kentucky before draining into the Ohio River at Smithland, Kentucky.