There are three main ways visitors can explore Mammoth Cave. Visitors have the choice of hiking through forests on trails, touring the underground cave routes in the park, or they can paddle a boat along Green River to explore different parts of Mammoth Cave National Park.
Mammoth Cave National Park hiking trails are divided into three main sections, the North Side section, the South Side section, and the Visitor Center section. The South Side section, and the Visitor Center section, have shorter trails, as the North Side section has the longer, more remote trails. Audio guided tour tapes for certain Mammoth Cave hiking trails can be borrowed from Mammoth Cave park officials at the Visitor Center.
The North Side section of Mammoth Cave National Park has over 60 miles of trails available for horseback riding. Free trail maps are available at the Visitor Center, as well as a list of basic rules. These basic rules include, but are not limited to the following:
1. When hikers and horses meet on a hiking trail, the horse must be slowed, and the hiker must stand still and quiet, as to not frighten the horse.
2. Horses must always be hitched at least 100 feet away from designated campsites, hiking trails, and all water sources.
Guided cave tours are another way visitors may explore Mammoth Cave National Park attractions. A small fee is sometimes required to tour some of Mammoth caves, and some of the tours do not have a charge at all. It is wise to make a reservation beforehand, no matter which tour the visitor selects, especially from April until October. Most of these tours are guided by Mammoth Cave park officials, and they often sell out quickly.
It is extremely important for visitors to consider their physical limitations when choosing a guided cave tour. If visitors are afraid of heights, or frightened of tight places, some of the guided cave tours may not be for them. Some guided cave tours have age requirements, too, so visitors with children should always check the age requirements when selecting a guided cave tour. Mammoth Cave park officials are available in the visitors center to help visitors with making the best choice for their group.
Finally, visitors can explore Mammoth caves by water. For a fee, canoes can be rented from the Visitor Center, or visitors can bring their own small boats. Mammoth Cave National Park only permits small boats, and requires each person aboard the boat to have a life preserver. Any boating accident resulting in personal injury, property damage, or death must be reported immediately. All other Coast Guard rules apply, as well. Swimming is not recommended in the river, as the currents can be strong.
No matter which way visitors chose to explore Mammoth Cave National Park, they are sure to see its natural beauty and wildlife activity. Whether visitors decide to hike the trails, tour the underground tunnels, or travel the river by boat, they will be surrounded by the park's natural beauty and are sure to have a fun filled experience.