Mammoth Cave National Park is the world’s longest cave system, covering more than 365 miles explored. It’s also part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. Since 1816, visitors have toured Mammoth Cave. Mammoth Cave National Park has dozens of campsites in the back country, and along the rivers. The Cave is known for its eerie silence. Mammoth cave is so long that if the second and third longest caves in the world were joined together, Mammoth Cave would still be the planet’s longest cave and have nearly 100 miles left over!
Green River the Green and Nolin Rivers expand more than 30 miles through Mammoth Cave National Park, offering, boating, canoeing, fishing, and guided river tours. These rivers possess one of the most diverse fish (82 species) and invertebrate faunas (51 species of mussels) in North America. There are approximately 200 species of benthic macro invertebrates in these rivers. The Green River has been designated an “Outstanding Resource Water”.
Did You Know that Creatures that spend their entire lives in Mammoth Cave adapt to the dark world. Some types of cave fish do not grow eyes because these extra unnecessary organs would consume precious energy in their nutrient-poor environment. Mammoth Cave is one of the oldest tourist attractions in North America. Tours have been offered since 1816. The park offers several activities for families, and for kids to do by themselves. For children 10 and up, and parents Families can join in the exploration together on Introduction to Caving, and hike, climb, and even crawl through parts of Mammoth Cave that most tours never visit.
Stephen Bishop was one of the first slave guides at Mammoth Cave. Did you know African Americans played a vital role in the development of cave tour routes and the vistitor experience throughout the 19th and early 20th century. The first black guides were slaves and through their efforts opened up the golden age of cave exploration for Mammoth Cave. Their discoveries and story continues to live on within the avenues and guided tours of the cave today. However, today they are not viewed as slaves or lower class citizens. They are true legends.
Directions to Mammoth Cave: From the North: Take Interstate 65 to Exit 53 (Cave City Exit). Turn right onto KY-70. Follow 70/255 as it becomes the Mammoth Cave Parkway in the park. From the South: Take Interstate 65 to Exit 48 (Park City Exit). Turn left onto KY-255 and follow 255 as it becomes the Park City Road into the park. Follow Park City Road until it joins the Mammoth Cave Parkway; turn left. Visitor Information Line: (270) 758-2180