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My Experience at Mammoth Cave National Park

When you think of national parks, you may think of extravagant mountains, lush green forests or maybe even never-ending canyons. But have you ever pictured yourself underground inside a cave? If you have, you've probably explored the beauty that is Mammoth Cave - one of two cavern nationals parks in the country.



I'm still beating myself up at the fact that I've only lived an hour and a half from this park almost my entire life, and JUST NOW came to visit 26 years later! Mammoth Cave National Park is located in west-central Kentucky, and sits right in between Louisville and Nashville. It was established as a national park in 1941 and is currently known as the world's longest cave system... 400 miles at that! There could be even more that hasn't been recorded, but that alone could take you around 133 hours if you were to walk continuously.

 

The park itself is free to visit, but tours of the cave will require a purchased ticket... And honestly, I feel like you could not experience enough without a tour, so I highly recommend you try one! We wanted to go through as much of the cave as possible, so we went with the Historic Extended Tour. This one will give you 2.25 hours through the cave! And not only that, but you'll also get to check out some other sections that aren't always shown.



You'll start out at the entrance of the cave, which is absolutely gorgeous. A giant hole in the ground that you get to walk into... I mean, I think that sounds pretty cool!! And for a cave, I was incredibly impressed with how well-kept everything is. There was plenty of lighting so you could make your way through easily, and the entire inside of the cave is spotless.



I felt like the entire time we were in awe by something... whether that be the rock formations, random artifacts hidden around the cave or even the intriguing ceilings... it's impossible to get bored inside of here! And when you take the extended tour, you'll really feel adventurous going into the small and tight areas. Speaking of which, if you get claustrophobic, there may be some places that will feel pretty enclosed. But it didn't bother me too much. I was more afraid of rubbing against a cave spider! (and that's just me being a big baby.)


Some notable areas were Fat Man's Misery, which is the tightest part of the cave where you'll need to squeeze and duck a bit to get through, and the Bottomless Pit... yep, exactly what it sounds like! You better believe I had a death grip on my phone while getting photos of it.

 

After experiencing the cave, make sure to spend some time at the outdoor trails, too! Most of them are pretty short and easy, so it's nothing too difficult to handle after a few hours in the cave. It's also just really pretty to walk around! Kentucky is known for having beautiful, green foliage and outdoor scenery.



If you're planning to stay the night, you're in luck, because a majority of the facilities are right next to each other, so it's easy to hop around where you need to go here. You can camp out or stay at their on-property hotel - which is literally right next to the cave entrance! While I have not stayed at the hotel yet, just walking past it had me immediately interested... it looks so nice!



 

Mammoth Cave is probably in the top 5 of the coolest things that you can check out in Kentucky... I mean, it is a national park for a reason! There may be many other caves out there, but this is by far the biggest and most impressive cave that I have ever experienced! Mammoth Cave is totally worth a road trip, or even if you live nearby.




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ABOUT ME

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Hey there, I'm Shelby! Traveling has been one of my biggest passions in life, and so I'm here to share all of my great finds, tips and advice that I discover along the way. When I'm not on a plane, you can find me in Kentucky with my husband and fur child, Zoe (My adorable kitty!) 

I have always loved to write, and after many attempts at blogging again, I find myself here and inspired to share the world. My husband and I both work a typical 9 to 5, but make it a priority to plan as many trips as possible each year. I want to show others that it is totally possible to live a travel-filled life full time or on the side!

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy!

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