Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley and hilly country of south central Kentucky. This is the world’s longest cave system, with more than 365 miles explored. Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a “grand, gloomy and peculiar place,” but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name: Mammoth.
Since 1816, visitors have toured the subterranean labyrinths of Mammoth Cave. Discover what adventures await you on our many Cave Tours.
There are few better ways to discover the pleasures and curiosities of the sunlit side of Mammoth Cave National Park than to camp among the trees or by the waters. The park offers camping in three developed campgrounds and in more than a dozen primitive sites in the backcountry and along the Green and Nolin Rivers. Use the links to find out about the different campgrounds. The table below will help you choose the one that’s best for you. Also be sure to check out the Campground Regulations.
Mammoth Cave Campground is first-come, first-serve from September 16 – May 15.
Did You Know?
Mammoth Cave National Park contains more than 70 miles of backcountry trails through forested Kentucky hills for hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists. Several frontcountry trails lead to special places like Cedar Sink, Sand Cave, and Turnhole Bend.
The human experience of Mammoth Cave reflects one of humanity’s most potent emotions: wonder. The dark depths of a pit or passage trigger inborn questions where does that go? How far? Is anything in there?
The first human to enter Mammoth Cave passed under its imposing arch about 4,000 years ago. His reason for probing the shadows? The same as ours today. Curiosity led the way to discoveries of minerals, and primitive miners plumbed the rocky halls for nearly 2,000 years before the cave again fell quiet. It would not again echo the sound of human feet clattering the floor stones until the very end of the 18th century.
Once European settlers discovered Mammoth Cave, stories both inspiring and strange began to accumulate about their adventures underground. The cave’s stories spoke of curiosity, cures, captivity and capitalism; excitement, exploration and exploitation.
And the story keeps on going. From the torch-bearing Indian to yesterday’s park visitor, the fabric of the story-cloth of Mammoth Cave continues to be woven. Click the links on this page to discover the people, places, stories and objects that illuminate this special place.
Did You Know?
Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest known cave. In fact it is so long that if the second and third longest caves in the world were joined together, Mammoth Cave would still be the planet’s longest cave and have nearly 100 miles left over!