Mammoth Cave National Park should be on everyone’s list of places to go and spend a day or two or three. I have been to this park two times in my lifetime and look forward to a third visit in the future. I had a chance to go with my parents as a young boy, and again when I was in my mid-20s. Both times I saw different things on different cave tours and went in and came out of the cave by using different entrances and exits. The history of this cave and the beauty and wonder of all of what is inside it make it a place that you will never forget after you visited, and probably always want to go back and see again. It may be difficult to think of caves as spacious and grand, but these caves are no ordinary caves. Humans first discovered this complex underground wonder some 4,000 years ago beneath the Green River Valley of Edmonson County, Kentucky. To this day, explorers have yet to find an end to it, despite mapping more than 405 miles of passageways. It is by far the longest such system on Earth, featuring the richest known habitat for cave wildlife in the world.
Mammoth Cave National Park is a 52,830-acre park located in the state of Kentucky in the United States. It is named after the cave it partially encompasses, called Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System, which is the world’s longest known cave system. Within the cave system in Mammoth Cave National Park visitors can see stalactites, stalagmites, natural springs, and gypsum crystals. Within Mammoth Cave National Park there are 41 miles of cave trails that have been developed for tourists to explore. There are twelve eyeless species of animals living in the caves of Mammoth Caves National Park. Some of the highlights of the cave system in the park include the Frozen Niagara, the Grand Avenue, and the Fat Man’s Misery.
There is no entrance fee for Mammoth Cave National Park, but there are fees for cave tours. There are 10 tours offered by the National Park Service inside of Mammoth Cave. These tours range in difficulty from easy to very strenuous. Some tours require very sturdy hiking boots, and there are size restrictions for some of the most strenuous tours because you will be traveling through very tight areas.
Mammoth Cave National Park is located about 13 miles northeast of Bowling Green, Kentucky off of I 65.Take Interstate 65 to Exit 48 (Park City Exit). Turn left onto KY-255 and follow 255 as it becomes the Park City Road into the park. Follow Park City Road until it joins the Mammoth Cave Parkway; turn left. Follow the Mammoth Cave Parkway to the Visitor Center.
Located ¼ mile from the park Visitor Center, Mammoth Cave Campground is the Park’s developed camping area, situating campers most conveniently for excursions underground, around the Visitor Center, on the rivers, or farther afield. Rangers on duty in the campground kiosk are happy to provide information to make your stay a special adventure. The campground’s 105 sites are open seasonally and are available by reservation. Of the 105 sites in this campground, 99 are tent only and 6 are for RV. There is no electric service. In the spring, summer, and fall seasons there is a dump station and potable water available in the campground.
Based on https://freecampsites.net/#!Mammoth+Cave,+KY,+USA there are 3 free campsites within 50 miles of Mammoth Cave National Park.
—-Hiking & Biking and Horseback Riding—-
Mammoth Cave National Park has nearly 84 miles of trail in the backcountry, front country and Visitor Center areas combined, rated from easy to rugged. Six trailheads, at Maple Springs, Lincoln, Big Hollow, First Creek, Temple Hill and White Oak give access to the back country’s 65.8 miles of trail. Most backcountry trails are for pedestrian and horseback use only, with the exception of Big Hollow Trail, which is for pedestrian and mountain bike use only, and Maple Springs Trail and White Oak Trail, which are all use trails.
—-Things To Do—-
There are a great many things to do in this area. It is halfway between Louisville, Kentucky (to the north) and Nashville, Tennessee (to the south). Bowling Green, Kentucky has a lot to do including the National Corvette Museum and The Historic Railpark and Train Museum.