Adventures at Mammoth Cave National Park

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

Location: Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky.

Since we are seeking out the National Parks in the states we’re visiting, Austin and I were thrilled to discover that Mammoth Cave National Park is located here in Kentucky. So, naturally, we got up early one Saturday morning to make the two-hour drive and embark upon our adventure.

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

Our day started with a kayak rental and an expedition out on the Green River.

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

Let me just say that the Green River is the slowest-moving river EVER. Seriously. If we weren’t paddling, then the kayak wasn’t moving. Even though we had such a grand time, we would have preferred it if the river had helped us out a little. Is that too much to ask?

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

Outfit Details: Weekend Tee – Weekend Tee Co.  | Nike Tempo Shorts – secondhand from Poshmark | Backpack – Fjallraven Kanken |ZX/2 Sandal – Chaco | 5-Panel Camp Cap – United by Blue

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

The water was cool and shallow (most of the time) so we paused every now-and-again to wade and watch tadpoles.

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

We were tired, sweaty, and sunburned. #keepingitreal

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

After our 3.5 hour trip down the Green River, we were famished, but ready for our tour of Mammoth Cave and we couldn’t wait to get out of the sun. Mammoth Cave National Park preserves the cave system and a part of the Green River valley is the world’s longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored (and more miles being discovered all the time.)

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

The first official tours of the caves were 200 years ago in 1816 and back then the short tour was 6 hours and the long tour was 14 hours. Our tour was about 2 hours long and I couldn’t imagine being in that darkness for an entire day. One of the cave’s earliest guides, Stephen Bishop, called Mammoth Cave a “grand, gloomy and peculiar place” and with all of its vast labyrinths, the cave deserves the title.

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

At one point during our tour, the guide turned off all of the lights and I have never been surrounded but such an immense darkness before. When he asked that everyone be completely silent, it was amazing to hear nothing and see nothing and be in this place void of any external stimulation leaving my thoughts to ring loudly in my head.

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

After descending into the depths of Mammoth Cave and emerging again to realize that we only saw two miles of its incredible maze, I was glad to be in the daylight, but also excited to hopefully back again one day and see even more of this magnificent cave.

Kentucky Adventures Mammoth Cave

Have you ever been to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky?

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  • mapam30

    I went to this park as a young girl–I need to take my kids there!

  • Mai Lyn Ngo

    Totally adding this to my list of places to visit. Thanks!

  • Leah Hall

    What a beautiful setting! I have never been, but it’s on my list!

  • Champ Ray

    Went here as a young girl with my family and I remember the cave guide doing the same thing!

  • Stunning views! Loved all the images. 🙂

  • Clare Speer

    Wow – what an adventure! Looks like fun – and you captured its beauty with such wonderful pictures!

  • carreen raynor

    What I’m curious about is how long it took you to kayak back! =]

  • Wow! This looks so fun! Andrew and I are all about National Parks and we want to visit them all! They’re so many to choose from. I’m going to add this one to the list!

  • I’ve never been to Kentucky, but this looks gorgeous! I love exploring national parks! Adding this to the list

  • Amanda K

    Never been to Kentucky but every year my husband and I go kayaking and canoeing every summer.

    Amanda ||

  • Candy Kage

    I have heard great things about Mammouth and your photos confirm how fun it would be

  • What a fun summer trip! Your photos make it look so beautiful!

  • This looks so fun! I have actually never been to Kentucky but I have heard of Mammoth Cave. I would love to go!

  • wow what an incredible adventure! I just took my first kayaking lesson and I seriously want to go kayaking in all the rivers now! The cave tour sounds awesome and totally scary

  • Mammoth Cave!!! I used to live there! Really, I lived just down the street in the Jellystone Campground–you would have had to pass it coming from the highway. Fond memories–I’ll happily go back for a visit any time! Last time, my husband and I really tried to go kayaking there but the water levels were too high, they didn’t allow kayaking.

  • This looks like such a cool place to visit. It’s so cool that you guys are seeking out the national parks in the states that you’re visiting. I never really put too much thought into going to them until a friend and I visited Glacier National Park a little over a year ago. Now I’ve been researching other national parks and am interested in seeing more!

  • Carrie R

    I don’t think this is too far from us (I am in North Central WV)! Looks like a great place to spend the day. 🙂

  • Adaleta Avdic

    Loving this post, and all of your pretty photos! I don’t think I’ve ever been to Mammoth but I’ve been to Big Bear! xx