Thursday, October 27, 2016
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world with 400 surveyed miles and many passageways yet to be explored. The cave was formed by water flowing through cracks in a caprock layer of sandstone and dissolving the underlying softer limestone creating the passageways. The harder sandstone, which protects the cave from collapsing, also means the cave is mostly dry so “flowing” type formations are not as common as they are in wet caves.
As many as 19 cave tours of varying length and difficulty are offered depending on the time of year. Reservations are recommended. The park also has a large network of hiking trails and 20 miles of gravel and natural surface bike trails. The visitor center has very good displays covering the natural and human history of the cave.
An elevator and paved path provide wheelchair access for one tour which a half mile tour roundtrip and visits the Snowball Room. This tour is mostly a history and geology talk because the cave section visited is not very spectacular.
The visitor center is accessible and worth the trip. Three short trails are accessible. We walked/rolled along the Heritage Trail which can be accessed from the visitor center. It’s 3/4 mile, paved and boardwalk, with a couple of overlooks.
The accessible sites in the campground are excellent with wide parking pads, extended tops on the tables, pavement under the tables and around the fire rings. Paved paths lead to the restrooms.
The visitor center has long RV spaces. Visitors taking the accessible tour must drive their own vehicle to the entrance. Parking is along a loop road with room for RVs.
Park 37.18762, -86.10129