Mammoth Cave National Park is the largest cave in the Unites States as well as the longest cave as it has been explored for over 350 milers. The cave system has many spacious rooms that hold over a hundred people. Mammoth Cave National Park is part of the Green River Valley of south central Kentucky, a couple miles off Interstate 65. It is located about 90 miles from Nashville, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky.
Mammoth Cave was recognized as a National Park in 1941. However, there are signs that point to Native Americans using the cave up to 6,000 years ago. It was discovered near the close of the 18th century by European travelers. Over the last 200 years, Mammoth Cave National Park was the site of saltpeter mine and for a short time was used as a sanitarium for tuberculosis. Stephen Bishop, an African American slave, named the passageways of the cave.
It was recognized as a World Heritage Site 29 years ago as well as an international Biosphere Reserve 20 years ago. Presently, 15 various guided tours of the cave are offered. There are short tours that span about two hours or long ones that take you through most nooks and crannies of the cave for five to six hours. Visitors must duck and squirm their way though natural formations. It’s pretty cool downstairs at about 56 degrees the whole year, so be sure to dress accordingly. There are even trails to hike on outside the cave.
If you want to stay on the local grounds, there is a Mammoth Cave Hotel lodge in the area.