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Mammoth Cave National Park

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

71 mi 114 km of trail 5 Recommended Routes

Gems 3 Gems Easy Trails 10 Trails Intermediate Trails 21 Trails Hard Trails 1 Trail

With over 400 miles of labyrinthine cave systems to explore, Mammoth Cave National Park lives up to its name. Mammoth Cave's subterranean system is the largest known cave system in the world and one of America's earliest tourist attractions. For more than 2,000 years, humans have been exploring the depths of these marvelous caves, some to satisfy curiosity and others to mine for precious minerals. The complexities of this cave system and its long history have been well preserved, and stepping into the grand caverns and gloomy labyrinths is like to stepping into the past.

To learn more about Mammoth Cave National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
While the park is open 24 hours a day year round, the Visitor Center is subject to seasonal closures. Check the park's website for current hours of operation.

Visiting Tips

Mammoth Cave National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No matter the season, Kentucky experiences moderate temperatures and weather. In the spring, conditions tend to be rainy, and while storms occur year round, the highest percentage of them occur between March and September.

Fees & Passes:
There is no entry fee for Mammoth Cave National Park. Most of the resources available within the park are offered free of charge. Various cave tours are offered at an additional cost, and it is recommended that you make a reservation before you visit. For more information about tour fees and making reservations, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Camping:
There are three campgrounds that operate within Mammoth Cave National Park, in addition to more than a dozen primitive backcountry campsites. A permit is required for backcountry camping and can be procured at the Visitor Center. Reservations are recommended at the Mammoth Cave and Maple Springs campgrounds. Campsites at Houchin Ferry are available on a first come, first served basis.

  • Mammoth Cave Campground: Group sites are available.
  • Houchin Ferry Campground
  • Maple Springs Equestrian Campground: Group sites are available.

Lodging:
Lodging is available at the Mammoth Cave Hotel, as well as its affiliate locations. Reservations can be made online or by calling (877) 386-4383.

Food & Drink

There are a variety of dining options located both in the park and in the nearby towns. Visitors can choose restaurant style dining or take advantage of various excellent picnic spots. In addition, the nearby counties and towns boast a variety of local restaurants.

The Mammoth Cave Hotel operates three restaurants in season and a Camp Store that provides a limited amount of supplies as well as groceries for campers. More information about dining options at the Mammoth Cave Hotel can be found here.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

While the mysterious caves of Mammoth are the main attraction of the park, there are many opportunities to learn about both the natural and human history of the area. Check the events page for a current schedule of special events or the cave tours page for more information about ways to explore the caves though a variety of ranger-led programs.

Other Activities

The opportunities for exploration in Mammoth Cave National Park are limitless, and there are many different ways to explore all that the park has to offer. Touring the vast caves is just one example, but above ground exploration is encouraged as well. Miles of bike paths and hiking trails provide an escape from the every day while horseback riding or taking a float down the Green or Nolin Rivers provide an excellent way to unwind. Visit Mammoth Cave's website for more information on the park's other activities.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Areas Within Mammoth Cave National Park

Gems in Mammoth Cave National Park - 3

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gem Favorite Visitors learn about Mammoth Cave from a ranger in the Broadway section of the cave.

Mammoth Cave Guided Tours

(28) Brownsv…, KY
gem Favorite The Cedar Sinks Trail explores interesting rock formations and crevices.

Cedar Sink

(15) Brownsv…, KY
gem Favorite Locomotive No. 4 is the only remaining engine from the Mammoth Cave Railroad. | Copyright James St. John (goo.gl/71SzIw) under CC BY-2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Photo was unchanged.

Engine No. 4

(6) Brownsv…, KY

Recommended Routes in Mammoth Cave National Park - 5

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Favorite Visitors learn about Mammoth Cave from a ranger in the Broadway section of the cave.
Intermediate

Mammoth Cave Visitor Center Loop

6.5 mi 10.4 km 831' Up 253.4 m Up 831' Down 253.41 m Down

Brownsv…, KY
Favorite Photo taken from the observation deck on the Turnhole Bend Trail in May 2016.
Easy/Intermediate

Turnhole Bend Nature Trail

0.6 mi 0.9 km 125' Up 38.24 m Up 125' Down 38.1 m Down

Brownsv…, KY
Favorite First Creek Lake
Intermediate

First Creek Trail

6.7 mi 10.8 km 645' Up 196.65 m Up 649' Down 197.93 m Down

Brownsv…, KY
Favorite Creek crossings are best with style.
Intermediate/Difficult

Sal Hollow & Buffalo Creek Loop

10.8 mi 17.4 km 863' Up 263.15 m Up 885' Down 269.69 m Down

Brownsv…, KY
Favorite In the last two miles or so of the loop, it's the only solid water source along the Buffalo Creek-Collie Ridge loop. Pretty cold. Photo taken in early September.
Intermediate/Difficult

Buffalo Creek - Collie Ridge - Mill Branch Trails

9.2 mi 14.8 km 752' Up 229.36 m Up 742' Down 226.08 m Down

Brownsv…, KY

Trails in Mammoth Cave National Park - 27

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1.1 mi 1.8 km #1Echo River Springs Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Easy/Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
0.6 mi 1.0 km #2Bluffs Campsite Access Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate/Difficult
Brownsville, KY
1.4 mi 2.3 km #3Green River Bluffs Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
1.0 mi 1.6 km #4Cedar Sink Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
1.0 mi 1.7 km #5Sinkhole Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
8.8 mi 14.2 km #6Mammoth Cave Railroad Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Easy/Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
0.3 mi 0.5 km #7Sunset Point Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate/Difficult
Brownsville, KY
2.8 mi 4.6 km #8Mill Branch Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
2.5 mi 4.1 km #9South Loop
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
5.7 mi 9.1 km #10Raymer Hollow Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
0.5 mi 0.8 km #11River Styx Spring Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
8.4 mi 13.5 km #12Sal Hollow Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
4.4 mi 7.1 km #13Buffalo Creek Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
0.6 mi 1.0 km #14Whites Cave Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
0.4 mi 0.7 km #15Dixon Cave Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Easy/Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
3.9 mi 6.3 km #16Collie Ridge Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
0.5 mi 0.9 km #17Heritage Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Easy/Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
4.9 mi 8.0 km #18Big Hollow Trail North Loop
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
4.5 mi 7.2 km #19Wet Prong Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
2.0 mi 3.2 km #20Turnhole Bend Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
1.2 mi 1.9 km #21Maple Springs Trail
Easy
Brownsville, KY
Easy
Brownsville, KY
0.9 mi 1.4 km #22Connector Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
2.4 mi 3.9 km #23White Oak Trail
Intermediate
Munfordville, KY
Intermediate
Munfordville, KY
2.3 mi 3.7 km #24Dry Prong Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
6.4 mi 10.3 km #25McCoy Hollow Trail
Difficult
Brownsville, KY
Difficult
Brownsville, KY
1.6 mi 2.6 km #26Blair Springs Hollow Trail
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
Intermediate
Brownsville, KY
0.3 mi 0.5 km #27River Valley Trail
Difficult
Brownsville, KY
Difficult
Brownsville, KY

Photos of Mammoth Cave National Park - 152

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

Visitors learn about Mammoth Cave from a ranger in the Broadway section of the cave.
Jun 1, 2017 near Brownsv…, KY
Visitors enjoy the narrow passage of Thanksgiving Hall in Mammoth Cave. Photo credit: NPS Photo.
Jun 1, 2017 near Brownsv…, KY
Creek crossings are best with style.
Feb 21, 2017 near Brownsv…, KY
On the boardwalk through the trees.
May 26, 2016 near Brownsv…, KY
The Green River flows peacefully by the Turnhole Bend Trail. Photo credit: NPS Photo.
Jun 1, 2017 near Brownsv…, KY
The climber part of my brain was very excited
Aug 3, 2015 near Brownsv…, KY
Mammoth Cave National Park
Apr 3, 2020 near Brownsv…, KY
The underground River Styx emerges.
Jun 1, 2017 near Brownsv…, KY