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One-Day Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park was our second National Park stop along our National Park Road Trip from last summer. Mammoth Cave National Park became a National Park in 1941 and sees an average of 2 million visitors each year! In this post, I'm going to talk about how we spent our one day in the park, and my recommendation for an activity outside of the park.

Lost River Cave Boat Tour (Bowling Green, KY)

Although this is about 30-40 minutes outside of the park, I definitely recommend starting or ending your day here! Lost River Cave offers cave boat tours that take you through the caves by you guessed it! boat! You have to sign up for a time ahead of time and it is $23 a ticket. This cave served as an ancient native hunting ground, a civil war campground, and an underground 1930's night club. The tour guides are super knowledgeable and this tour was my favorite part of the day!

Inside the Cave

1930's Nightclub

Now onto the actual park...

Start off with a Cave Tour

Start off your day with one of the many cave tours Mammoth Cave has to offer. In order to go inside the actual caves, you need to sign up for one of the walking tours. The tours range in length and time, and each show different parts of the cave system. There are about 10 different tour options, including an accessible tour, and a self guided tour. (You still have to sign up for the self guided tour ahead of time) Tour signups can be found at We personally signed up for the Historic Tour, which was about 2 hours long. I enjoyed learning all about the history of the park, and the cave system. All of the tours have great ratings, so you can't really go wrong with a tour, it more just depends on what your are looking to gain out of your tour or what you are interested in learning about! We couldn't take many pictures inside the cave since it was dark (the guide led by lantern) however, I was able to get a few while we were in the lighter parts

Green River Bluff, Echo River Springs, Sinkhole and Heritage Trail

Head over to the trailhead for this 5-mile hike. It was a moderate hike, and took aboout 2-hours to complete. It offered forest views, pond views, and to our surprise, even an overlook and river view! This combination trail really allows you to see a lot of the park outside of the cave system, and ends right at the entrance of the cave tours.

Mammoth Cave Visitor Center

After you finish exploring the park, head over to the Mammoth Cave Visitor Center. Here you can learn even more about the park and cave system and pick up some souvenirs!

Cave City Creamery

End the long day of walking with some ice cream from Cave City Creamery located right outside the park at 201 Hubbard Ln, Cave City, KY 42127. The ice cream here was amazing and they even offer an ice cream flight, which is what I got!

I hope this post gives you some ideas of how to spend the day at Mammoth Cave National Park! Thanks for reading, and as always, there's always more to be explored!

-nicole elizabeth



hi! nic here

Welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time Recreational Therapist, in grad school and still trying to find time to explore! Follow my journey as I continue to embark on adventures near and far. I look forward to sharing my life with you, and remember, there's always more to be explored!

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