Mammoth Cave National Park
Hiking in Mammoth Cave National Park can be a fun and rewarding experience as in other national parks. It is a great way to both see and experience the park. Mammoth Cave, as its name suggests, is the world's most extensive cave system, with 300 miles of passages that are known and more that have not been explored. Located in central Kentucky, this subterranean phenomenon was created more than several million years ago as water worked its way through limestone deposits, dissolving the rock and carving underground passageways to connect with the nearby river. Over the ages, the water table slowly dropped leaving narrow horizontal tunnels, broad caverns and giant vertical shafts linked in a many-leveled labyrinth. The lower passage ways are still being enlarged by streams and rivers. Water seeping into the cave creates stalactites, stalagmites and white gypsum crystal formations that decorate some of the passages and rooms. Rare and unusual animals, such as blind fish and colorless spiders, demonstrate adaptation to the absolute blackness and isolation. Having evolved over millennia, 50 species of cave creatures are now threatened by pollutants that are entering the cave system from today's water supply. Mammoth Cave is an incredible natural phenomenon that continues to challenge humankind. (Inscribed in 1981)
All Tours were sold out. We went on Discovery Self Guided Tour. A short walk downhill from Visitor Center. You buy Tickets for $5 per person. Once at cave entrance Park Rangers will give a short talk then you descend 140 +/- steps down into cave (you have to ascend steps when you come out so take your time). On a hot day the cool cave air feels great. A light coat or sweater is recommended. Once in cave you walk back about 1/4 mile with placards about cave and history. Walking surface varies between rough but smooth dirt and paved. Lighted but be careful since floor surface varies. Quick, inexpensive way to get into Mammoth Cave. Overall Tour takes about an hour. Visitor Center also has a very informative multi-room, informative and historical venue at no cost. Have fun!!
I'm pretty sure we could have spent a whole week! We choose the historical tour. We took our 4 and 6 year old daughters and they loved it! The new trails and hand rails made it very easy. The guide we had was amazing and knowledgeable. We will definitely go back!
Wow what an amazing place. Traveled from NE Ohio with our 9 and 11 year and we can't wait to get back and take more tours!! Check out the website before going !!! You can see the schedules and get all the info you need to plan a wonderful day.
Amazing place to visit! The park rangers are very good at explaining the history of the cave and they guide you well. The cave is a must-see place! Really great! You have to descend 250 ft. down from the entrance door.
This is about the geological cave tour only. The rangers certainly understand the wide range of experience, interest, ages, physical abilities and the schedule requirements to get everyone through the cave. They do have time for detailed questions but managed to keep the group moving and not rush anyone. They helpfully explain why certain things are done so the caves aren't altered by so much human activity and future generations can have the same experiences.