Mammoth Caves National Park: Jewel of Kentucky
When you think of Kentucky, you may think of the Kentucky Derby, champion Thorobreds or world-famous bourbon, but Kentucky is also home to the world’s longest known underground cave system in the world – estimated to be over 10 million years old!
Established in 1941, Mammoth Caves National Park preserves these caves – 400 miles or 25% of the total, of which have been explored – as well as over 53,000 acres of beautiful forest land above the caves.
Things to do at Mammoth Caves National Park
The main attraction is ranger-led cave tours offered throughout the day. It takes about 3 hours to do the tour and see visitor center. Reservations are recommended. It is the only way you can get down into the cave.
Along with the typical cave formations, you’ll be awed at the size of the some of the rooms. In fact, up until the 1900’s, weddings and other large gatherings were held in the cave. You may be surprised to see it, but there are restroom facilities down there and an elevator!
What surprised us was the amount of stuff to do above ground. In fact, it was the first National Park where we could do things with our dogs. There are over 70 miles of nature trails, all dog friendly. It was great!!!
If you like to camp, there are three campgrounds plus backcountry camping. And there are 20 miles of rivers to explore – kayak, canoe, fish. The Green River Ferry – in place since the 30s – is a fun way to get to the other side of the river; a gateway to more fun hiking, camping and water adventures.
Where is Mammoth Caves National Park?
Mammoth Caves National Park is easy to get to. It’s about half way between Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee – both fun destinations on their own. Mammoth Caves is just one of the eight National Park Units in Kentucky, most notable, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace National Historical Park. If you are planning a visit to the “Bluegrass State” of Kentucky, be sure to set aside some time to visit Mammoth Caves National Park.
Need Help Planning Your Visits?
If you would like to explore this or other National Park Units, but need a bit help in the planning, please give us a call at (480) 609-3978. We are happy to offer customized trip planning.