Exploring the Mammoth Cave National Park above and underground
If you haven’t been in an underground cave system yet, you should visit the Mammoth Cave National Park! It’s the largest cave in the US – it stretches out for 400 miles and this figure is even growing. The whole system is not yet discovered fully as it has only a few exits and some passages are too small, that a human could fit through. However, you go on a guided tour and explore the area above the Mammoth Cave.
Tours through the Mammoth Cave
Being in a cave like the Mammoth Cave is thrilling! It can be a somewhat constricted experience, because of the lack of light and the narrow paths between the halls. But don’t worry – you are on a tour with 15-30 other people, so you won’t be alone or left behind.
We enjoyed the “Domes and Dripstones” tour in the Mammoth Cave National Park because the guide did his work with a heart. When he isn’t guiding people through the cave system, he explores new areas of it in a team. His passion for finding new paths was incredible! It was extremely interesting, but I would probably never be one of the cave adventurers. On the one hand I am already pre-damaged by the horror movie “The Descent” and on the other hand, he made it very clear how small you have to make yourself. You would need to squeeze yourself through ridiculously small passages -passages, where you have to make yourself as thin as possible. The backpack over the head, the feet turned to the side and then moving super slowly like a snail with minimum breathing.
The system couldn’t be discovered completely yet because the team can only take a certain amount of water and food supplies. They can only stay underground for a certain amount of time. As the undiscovered areas are too far from the two entrances, it’s very difficult to explore them and map them. However, they are working on it very hard, so I am sure, that they will find even more paths and routes.
Overground activities in the Mammoth Cave National Park
If you think that taking tours through the cave system is the only thing you can do in the Mammoth Cave National Park, you are wrong.
The whole area above is free for exploration. There are numerous hiking trails – in the visitor’s area, as well as frontcountry and backcountry trails.
You can also ride your bike on the Big Hollow Trail if you rather like to explore with two wheels than with two feet. Parts of the Green and Nolin Rivers trace through the Mammoth Cave National Park, which gives you great opportunities for kayaking, fishing, boating, and swimming.
Therefore, you can explore this National Park underground and aboveground, which makes visiting this place a unique experience.