Mammoth Cave National Park

Last September, we loaded up the Subaru and headed south on my boy’s first camping trip. Our destination was Mammoth Cave National Park. I hadn’t been there since I was in 6th grade, and while my wife figures she’s been past it at least 25 times, she’s never gotten off I-65 to check it out.

Mammoth Cave is so named because of some of the mammoth caverns and rock formations. It is the longest cave system in the world with over 400 miles of explored passages (and no end in sight!). It became a national park in 1941 after a massive private effort, a World Heritage Site in 1981, and an international Biosphere Reserve in 1991.

We camped at the largest of 3 campgrounds in the park. It was packed on Saturday night, but cleared out after some rain on Sunday. Being sensitive to our 3 year old (and others on our tour), we took the short yet spectacular Frozen Niagara cave tour. We hiked in the undeveloped western half of the park and took the ferry across the Green River. The ferry was a particular favorite of the boy, and though we didn’t try it, the Green River looked like a terrific paddle.

Green River ferry
Green River ferry

The impending government shutdown encouraged us to pack up and head out on Monday. A note about the park staff: there was never any indication that they would soon be laid off. Class act to the end.

Trailhead

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