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.
Our day started with a kayak rental and an expedition out on the Green River.
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?
The water was cool and shallow (most of the time) so we paused every now-and-again to wade and watch tadpoles.
We were tired, sweaty, and sunburned. #keepingitreal
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.)
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.
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.
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.
Have you ever been to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky?