Mammoth Cave National Park
There are caves all around the world, but none compare to Mammoth Cave! As the world’s longest-known cave system with over 400 known miles of passageways, this natural wonder and World Heritage Site should be on everyone’s list of must-have experiences. Mammoth Cave National Park is just 30 minutes from Bowling Green, Ky. and can easily be added to any Bowling Green itinerary.
A variety of underground tours offer a glimpse at 350 million-year-old rocks and fascinating animals adapted to life in the dark. As the second-oldest tourist attraction in America, you will hear remarkable stories of human history including how African Americans played a vital role in developing both cave tours and the visitor experience. With tours designed for a mixed audience, you can take it easy or get down and dirty on a wild cave tour.
Of course, the surreal beauty continues above ground with an abundance of activities including nature walks, horseback riding, canoeing or kayaking down the Green River, and campfire programs. All tours begin and end at the new Visitor Center designed for gold-level certification as a sustainable, “green” building. Children under six are admitted free.
During 2013, Mammoth Cave National Park will offer fewer cave tours. Visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets through the reservation system at www.recreation.gov or by phone at 877-444-6777. In past years morning tours did not sell out. Morning tours may be the best option for people who have not made advanced reservations. Call 270-758-2180 for up to the minute tour availability information.
*NOTE: January 16, 2013 - Mammoth Cave National Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead announced today that a bat from a cave in the south central Kentucky park has been confirmed with white-nose syndrome, a condition deadly to bats. The bat was found in Long Cave, an undeveloped cave 1.3 miles long that is the park’s largest bat hibernaculum and houses endangered Indiana bats and gray bats, along with other non-threatened species. Long Cave is not connected to Mammoth Cave and has not been open to visitors for more than 80 years.
Tours of Mammoth Cave will continue. White-nose syndrome is known to be transmitted primarily from bat to bat, but spores of Geomyces destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome, may be inadvertently carried between caves by humans on clothing, footwear, and caving gear. White-nose syndrome is not known to affect people, pets, or livestock but is harmful or lethal to hibernating bats, killing 90 percent or more of some species of bats in caves where the fungus has lasted for a year or longer, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
To learn more about WNS and MCNP's response, visit http://www.nps.gov/maca/parkmgmt/planning.htm.
Hours: Open year-round except Christmas day.Address:
1 Mammoth Cave Parkway
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky 42259
p. 270-758-2180 (Information) or 877-444-6777 (Reservations)