Mammoth Cave National Park Travel Guide
Still more formations
Dixon Cave Trail
Mammoth Cave Visitors Center
Fun experience, a nice alternative to the usual beach or theme park vacation
Remote location with a fairly deserted surrounding area.
In a nutshell
Don't judge this cave by the wonders of the surface.
Mammoth Cave Baptist Church
When I was leaving the park I decided to take Flint Ridge Road instead of the main road leading to the cave. I did this because I wanted to see more of the park and to see the Mammoth Cave Baptist Church. The Mammoth Cave Baptist Church was established in 1827 and served the...
Dixon Cave Trail
Near the entrance to Mammoth Cave is a trail that leads past Dixon Cave to the picnic area and back to the visitors center. The trail is short but unpaved with uncertain footing in places. There are also some steps along the trail.
Native American Display
One of the more interesting displays I saw in the cave was a variety of items found inside the cave from the period Native Americans occupied the cave. There is a nice display of these items toward the end of the portion of the cave you can access without a ranger.
Mammoth Cave has been used for some unusual activities through the years. In 1842 Dr. John Croghan used Mammoth Cave as one of the first hospitals devoted entirely to the treatment of Tuberculosis. He believed the constant temperature and humidity in the cave would be useful...
The limestone that forms the cave is porous so water easily seeps through it. Sometimes this water carries heavier minerals like the metals you see in the reddish layer here. This layer is caused by the heavier more dense rock that is located under the limestone forming the...
The Twilight Zone
This area is called the "Twilight Zone". It is the part of the cave where there is barely enough natural light to see by and the first part of the cave where it gets too dark to see without artificial light. Few plants can live in this zone. Some animals come here to seek...
Inside the Cave
Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave in the world. There are ranger-led tours through some of the cave. Only a very small portion of the cave (much less than at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico) is open for self-led exploration.
There are eight species of bats living in Mammoth Cave and nearby Dixon Cave. Two of these, the Indiana Bat and the Gray Bat are on the Endangered Species List. There are other types of animals that have adapted to the dark environment of Mammoth Cave like the Northern Cave...
This is the historic entrance to Mammoth Cave. Part of what drew ancient peoples in the area to discover the entrance was chilly air emanating through the hole. During the summer warmer air enters the cave through upper entrances or holes and creates a partial vacuum inside...
Trail to Cave
The trail leading from the visitors Center to the cave is relatively short and paved. If I remember correctly it is wheelchair accessible. There are some informative signs about the geology of the area and the formation of the cave along the trail. As you walk to the cave...
Mammoth Cave Railroad
The Mammoth Cave Railroad was a spur line that hauled freight and passengers from Glasgow Junction to the Mammoth Cave area. The railroad used steam engines that burned fuel, to heat water, to produce steam. This steam was then pressurized through a valve into a piston that...
Historic Mammoth Cave Hotel
After driving along the southern part of the park, I headed toward the main part of the park and the cave. Along the way I stopped to see the Mammoth Cave Hotel. There have been three hotels on this spot. The first was built in 1811 as small quarters to house slaves that...
Joppa Missionary Baptist Church
The Joppa Missionary Baptist Church was established in 1862. The settlers along the Joppa Ridge had a very strong sense of community and the church was often the heart of the community. Many of the stories told about life in the past along Joppa Ridge concern weddings,...
Tavertine Restaurant: Breakfast Buffet
This is a nice way to start a long day of cave touring! This buffet offers: scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage patties, french toast, potatoes, biscuts & gravy, oatmeal, dry cereal, yogart, fresh fruit, & toast.You can also ask for their great Black Cherry Preserves.The buffet...
Please obey all warning signs in the park. They are there for your safety and to protect the park's resources. Do not touch any of the formations in the cave and especially do not do like this lady did.
The first thing we saw (after a school group which the ranger said was 'little kids' in 4th or 5th grade, but looked to Bob and me like the 7th graders that we used to teach) was a sign saying that you could take no packages of any sort into the cave. * No camera bags, * No...
Floyd Collins' final resting place is at the Baptist Church cemetery on the grounds of Mammoth Cave.In the 1920's Floyd Collins was known as the best cave explorer in the world. His family's Crystal Cave (which he discovered on January 18, 1917) was overshadowed by Mammoth...
Sports Activities in the Park
There are 55 miles of hiking trails north of the Green River and 23 miles South of the river. I only hiked a few short trails near the cave/visitors center. There is also a bicycling trail, fishing, boating/canoeing and horseback riding in the park. Three trails: The...
Walking Around the Visitor's Center
Even if you can't go into the cave, there are interesting things to see on the surface. There are signs about the various geological features. For instance one of them says:In the Pennsylvanian Period, 280 million years ago, a layer sand and silt was laid down by an ancient...
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is one of two national parks centered around a cave or cavern. The other is Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. There is a large area you can explore other than the cave, too. Several paved, and unpaved, roads cross different parts of the park. I...
Explore Deeper into Mammoth Cave National Park