Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. National Park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. The park was established as a national park on July 1, 1941. It became a World Heritage Site on October 27, 1981, and an international Biosphere Reserve on September 26, 1990. The park's 52,835 acres (21,382 ha) are located primarily in Edmonson County, Kentucky, with small areas extending eastward into Hart County and Barren County. It is centered around the Green River, with a tributary, the Nolin River, feeding into the Green just inside the park. With a confirmed 365 miles of passageways it is by far the world's longest known cave system, being well over twice as long as the second longest cave system, which is South Dakota's Jewel Cave with 145 miles of passageways. Cave animals include five bat species, the Kentucky cave shrimp, cave fish, and cave salamanders. Above ground there are rivers, hiking trails, sinkholes, and springs.
Great Trail! Hiked it in January and there were many great views I couldn't have seen if there had been leaves on the trees. Make sure you look at Dixon Cave when you're hiking it! Later in the trail, you'll see more and more of the river. Would heartily recommend to anyone in the park!
This trail is an easy hike and pretty in the fall. As a hiker I avoid most of the trails on the west side of the park during Spring and Summer, because of heavy horse traffic making the trails mud holes. This trail, however, is wide (it doubles as a service road) and so it's not as beaten by horses.
Combine it with the River Styx Spring Trail to create a relatively easy loop from the Mammoth Cave NP Visitor Center. You can follow the trail all the way out along the river and return by way of the picnic area and cottages, or cut it short by returning past the Dixon Cave entrance.
We enjoyed taking this trail back up to the Heritage Trail and the Mammoth Cave NP Visitor Center from the Green River and the southern section of the trail system. It passed right by the Mammoth Dome Sink...interesting to think what is directly below.