Outdoors Information

Mammoth Cave: One of the Most Beautiful in Our National Park System


Directly south of Louisville, just off Interstate 65 and not far from Cave City, Mammoth Cave National Park sits nestled in the rolling, wooded hills of west-central Kentucky. Cedar trees dominate the landscape around the park, broken only by grazing cattle, small tobacco fields, and immense limestone outcroppings.

Limestone is what makes this area special-a 600-foot thick slab of the stuff. Looking at the many road-cuts along the highway, one can see the layers, each possessing its own characteristics and each named after the location where these characteristics were identified: St. Genevieve, St. Louis, Paoli, Aux Vases, Karnak. Each layer is incredibly older than its sibling just above. And limestone is where Kentucky caves are formed.

Once inside the park, the scenery changes from touristy to natural beauty. Well-groomed roads with wide, grassy shoulders wind through deep forest. Whitetail deer browse the edges of ancient cemeteries and wild turkey are everywhere. Mammoth Cave is one of the most beautiful in our national park system. Sprawling over more than 52,000 acres (most of it dense hardwood forest) the park features a diverse community of plants and wildlife; from the smallest insects, to birds, to aquatic life, to cave life. It is home to dozens of endangered or threatened species.

In spite of hosting two million visitors a year, the roads through Mammoth Cave National Park are surprisingly free of traffic. But near the visitor center, there is a constant bustle of activity, where campers, picnickers, and cave tourists crowd through the visitor center and ticket office. Every few minutes, loudspeakers announce the beginning of the next tour and groups of strangers form lines to become fellow travelers through a section of the cave.

During the summer, the park offers tours into several different entrances and family groups huddle around descriptive signs planning this portion of their summer vacation. The most popular is the Historic Tour. Starting every 40 minutes, over a hundred people herd through the historic section of the cave. The Lantern Tour, Frozen Niagara, and Half-Day tours are sold out every day throughout the tourist season. Occasionally the park gives tours into Great Onyx Cave, but those arriving too late in the day, or those that choose not to go on a guided tour can opt for the Discovery tour - a self guided walk through the historic section near the entrance.

Of the hundreds of caves that pock the hills and valleys of the park, many are worthy of the tourist dollar. Crystal Cave, Colossal, Bedquilt, Lee, White, and others-now, all gated. The park no longer shows these caves. And when hiking the 73 miles of surface trails in the park, one must be mindful to stay on the established trails. Poking around in one of the little caves along the way is strictly forbidden. There are plenty of tours to keep even the most adventurous of tourists busy.

Of all the parks protected by our national park system, Mammoth Cave is certainly one of the most beautiful and one of the most popular. A great vacation destination.

Norm Rogers is the author of Underground Legacy, a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, and member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. You can visit his website at http://www.normrogers.8m.com/


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Outdoors report: Dec. 15
Chron.com
Outdoors report. Galveston- Light winds gave way to good catches of trout over deep shell hours before the cold front blew through the region. Redfish are good at the jetty on natural baits. Matagorda- Guide Tommy Alexander reported quick limits of ...



Outdoors almanac: Dec. 15
Akron Beacon Journal
... • Sunday — The Portage Summit Field and Stream Club, 8504 U.S. Route 224, Deerfield Township, meets at 2 p.m. the third Sunday of each month. Meetings are open to the public and to those interested in becoming a member. For more information, visit ...



mySanAntonio.com

Sutherland Springs family sues outdoors store where church shooter ...
mySanAntonio.com
Joann Ward, who died at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, and her dog, Zena. Photo: Courtesy Photo. Image 2 of 29. Joann Ward with her daughter Brooke Ward. Both died at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Joann Ward with her ...
Sutherland Springs family sues Academy Sports + OutdoorsKHOU

all 5 news articles »


Iowa Public Television

Iowa Entrepreneur: CrawDaddy Outdoors & Visual Logic
Iowa Public Television
Discover how community support has been integral to the success of one business in Waverly, and meet two partners in the tech industry who make it a priority to value their employees. CrawDaddy Outdoors, Waverly As a lifelong outdoorsman, Darrin ...

and more »


mySanAntonio.com

Outdoors: Calendar, Dec. 15
mySanAntonio.com
Admission fees apply. Call 210-628-1639 or click on mitchelllake.audubon.org. Dec. 26. Texas Outdoors Woman Network of San Antonio: Monthly meeting with a special presentation, 6 p.m., Lion & Rose, 842 N.W. Loop 410. Nonmembers welcome. For more ...

and more »


Nonprofits span the state with giving opportunities to support outdoor recreation
News & Observer
If your bank account still has a few dollars at the end of this buying and giving season, don't forget the organizations that provide outdoors opportunities. Nonprofits serve the state from the mountains to the sea. Here are a few that would benefit ...



DesMoinesRegister.com

Outdoors Dan: Deer numbers and turkey decoys
DesMoinesRegister.com
Dan, what is going on with the Iowa deer herd? This has been one of the worst seasons for our family seeing deer this year. Have people killed too many deer? I think the deer numbers are OK; I have been seeing a lot of deer where I hunt. They have just ...



South China Morning Post

Important lessons in the great outdoors
South China Morning Post
Nature offers children an exciting playground and an excellent classroom. And recognising that has prompted an increasing number of schools in Hong Kong to introduce programmes which take students into the great outdoors, so they can experience the ...



Chattanooga Times Free Press

Chattanooga area outdoors calendar
Chattanooga Times Free Press
30, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free admission, $2 donation encouraged. See lulalake.org. » Winter Workshop Series: Wilderness First Aid, Jan. 18 & 25, 6-7:30 p.m., Outdoor Chattanooga, Coolidge Park; free, all ages, registration not required; other workshops ...



Student Loan Hero (blog)

5 Well-Paying Careers for People Who Love the Outdoors
Student Loan Hero (blog)
If you were asked to describe a job, many people might say it involves sitting for long hours behind a desk in an office. But what if you're not a confined-to-a-cubicle kind of person and would rather spend most of your time outside? Don't worry; you ...


Google News

home | site map | Ocean Photography
© 2006