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.
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.
Very nice trail for my kids and myself. My boys are 8 years old and 6 years old. Nice dirt trail in a wooded forest. One side of the trail has a steep incline so you may need to be careful with children. The trail itself has some steep declines and inclines, but overall a nice hike in the woods!
Went with a friend for a single night trip. The trail is pretty easy/moderate, mostly flat except for the decent to the river. Was a little disappointed that you cannot really access the river, was hoping to do some swimming. Entire hike to the campsite and back we had to wield a large stick in front of us to clear spider webs across the path, I've never seen so many on one trail before! Also, TICKS. After returning back to our car, we found dozens and dozens of seed ticks between the two of us. I would recommend waiting until late fall to do this trail, or get some really good repellent! Campsite does have a nice flat area for up to two tents and fire pit with a few large tree trunks to sit on.
This trail looks like it is never used. Couldn't walk two steps without getting cobweb into our faces. Had to dodge spiders too. Trail is too narrow in some areas. We didn't feel comfortable hiking it since we saw 2 snakes right on the trail - one was very little and looked like a garden snake. Another was huge timber rattlesnake. Narrow trail makes it impossible to see if there are any snakes on the trail. Had to move very slowly.