Mammoth Cave National Park : Yes, its a really big cave

Mammoth Cave, KY Located 85 miles north of Nashville a must see.  I spent a couple of days in Nashville and then drove north to the caves, staying overnight in the park. 

Tickets for the cave tours are required and I recommend booking as far in advance as possible.  There are many different cave tours to choose from.  From a fully wheelchair-accessible tour, short and long walking tours, lantern tours, and adventurous crawling tours.  Some cave tours require a short bus ride to and from the cave entrance.  Be sure to fully read the tour descriptions before purchasing your tour tickets.

What is Mammoth Cave?

I took the historic tour which went through tunnels that humans have used for thousands of years, this tour not only explores huge rooms that gave Mammoth Cave its name but also descends to much tighter places deep inside the cave.  This tour ascends and descends hundreds of stairs and several steep inclines.   This tour is ideal for people with an interest in history and a sense of adventure.  You will walk about two miles and it will take about an hour and a half.

Mammoth Cave!

Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system in the U.S. and even the world’s longest cave system, with more than 400 miles explored.  This park does not collect entrance fees, but six years and older must pay tour fees.  Senior and Access pass holders receive a discount for tours and camping fees.

After the cave tour, there is a small hike from the entrance of the cave leading down a scenic trail featuring cave-fed springs.

The area around the park visitor center offers 7.2 miles of scenic trails that feature: ridgetops, river views, sinkholes, cave-fed springs, cemeteries, a historic train engine, and views of the historic entrances to Mammoth Cave and Dixon Cave.

There is much to do here at this National Park in addition to cave tours, there are water activities along the green river Green and Nolin Rivers.  Canoe or kayak the rivers looking for wildlife, springs, and river bluffs.  Camp on islands, in the floodplain, or by the river at the Houchin Ferry Campground.  These rivers offer something for everyone.  The park has over 66 miles of trails throughout the park.  Three are three campgrounds.

I enjoyed my one-day visit to the park but left room for a return visit and plenty more to see and do the next time.

Lodging at Mammoth Cave

The Lodge at Mammoth Cave offers the closest option for overnight stays in the park. The Lodge is located directly next to the visitor center, and features a mix of modern hotel rooms as well as historic cottages nestled in a woodland setting all within walking distance to cave tours and park trails.

Staying in one of the historic cottages was a great ending to a perfect day.  The cottage was spacious, clean, and very comfortable.  Would stay there again.

The Main Lodge within the park was closed for renovation in 2023.