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.
The "Long Loop Trail" is a connection of three trails. The First Creek Trail, on to The McCoy Hollow Trail, and finally the Wet Prong Trail. I hiked this trail in early season in the month of March, so with that in mind here is my review....It is shared with horses and yes there is some muddy spots that are easy to walk around. If you are afraid of a lil mud on your boots then this trail is not for you. However, if you are not then this trail is a good trail for back country backpacking. It has some views, however trees block much of the views. The hike itself is great in that it's very well marked with blue blazes and orange blazes for campsites. The trail also offers a few little waterfalls, as well a hidden pond in the middle of nowhere. It has a lot of fairly level trail sections allowing you to cover great distance with ease. However, there are some tough uphill sections that leave you desperately trying just to make it to your next camp. Clean and great campsites with fire pits included. Definitely a great trail to spend the weekend checking out. It says on All trails that it's 15 miles but by map it's at least 18, and by the time you reach your car again you will swear it was twenty. I give it three stars for the lack of excellent views, however I would definitely do it again.....
First, There is no trail officially called "long loop trail"..the trail shown here is a combination of the McCoy Hollow Trail, First creek trail, and I believe the Wet Prong trail..The trail was chewed up a bit in places from horses but nothing you can't get around..I would say 80-90% of it was in great shape..The McCoy Hollow part of the trail is DIFFICULT be prepared lol..Absolutely loved the hike, and will do again. You will encounter some great views and there is all kinds of water sources from which most of we drank straight out of the streams with no filtering at all..No complaints at all from me!!
This is a good Rails to Trail you can park at ether end and ride to the other or out and back I think riding to Mammoth Cave way is harder but it has up hills both ways it isw crushed stone kind of loose in spots two old grave yards on the way a pond with a board walk all the way around it, and some historic places, I have rode it 2 times and not met more then 2 or 3 people both times.
If you're thinking about accessing this trail
do not use the directions the app gives you because it takes you to private property on a road that is impossible to drive on with a small car. In fact, I really don't know how to get to it at all. The other access point we saw on someone's recording was blocked because the road ended in water due to a flooded dam. Not sure if this is planning on being repaired or if its permanently flooded.
Very accessible trail, felt like a light to moderate difficulty. Gravel all through and boardwalks over any difficult terrain, which it seems is to be expected on heavily trafficked national park trails. This time of year the woods are filled with beautiful yellow daffodils. What I liked most about this trail was knowing I was hiking right above a huge cave. There were several entrance points and a sink hole that were very interesting! Also, Sunset Point is just a short aside from the main trail and is a beautiful overlook of the park.