Mammoth Cave

National Park

Climate and Ecosystems

Kentucky having a moderate climate, Mammoth cave has a warm, yet moist climate in the summer and a cool winter. This allows the species present in the cave and outside the cave to survive year round. The Ecosystems one can find here are Subterranean drainage basins and a biologically diverse set of ecosystems on top of the cave, such as forests, that are greatly linked to the inside of the cave. The outside of the cave is home to 1500 flowering species. There is over 350 different explored passageways with an estimated 600 miles yet to be surveyed. Scientists suspect that Mammoth Cave is 3x longer than any cave known. Through hundreds of years and the droplets of water carrying sediment along the cave walls, this cave is now home to hundreds of different plant and species life. These ecosystems greatly rely on each other as many of the animals and insects live in not only the cave, but often venture outside as well.

Endangered Species and Environmental factors

This park is home to 70 threatened, endangered or state listed species. There are 25 plants on the endangered species list. Approximately 130 different forms of life can be found here. Some of the endangered species found here include the Red Bat, Grey Bat, the Eastern Small footed Bat, the Bald Eagle, Mammoth Cave Shrimp, the Rough Pigtoe, and the Slender Madtom. Some plants include Eggerts Sunflower, French's shooting star, Small Sundrops, and the Buffalo Clover.

A Little More about Mammoth Cave

Park History

The Cave was first discovered over 4000 years ago. It became wildly popular in the 1816 with the introduction of tours and the Mammoth Cave Hotel and train system that led from the hotel to the caves. People, in search of gold, came from everywhere to explore the cave. Although tuberculosis sprung out and the Civil War began, the tours were still in popular. Mammoth Cave Hotel was known for hospitality and fine dining. There were two different tours offered in 1816 - the short route and the large route. The short route was only 6 hours and the Long route was 14 hours. A meal was provided on both tours. Slaves served as guides, and continued their work after the civil war freed them. Today, the tours are still commencing although the hotel is no longer in service. Being the largest cave system in the world, there is still exploration going today - the same drive that drove tourist and explorers over 200 years ago. Mammoth Cave holds an important part in Kentucky's history as well as the environment and animals it is home to.

Where is Mammoth Cave?

Mammoth Cave is located in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky (who would've guessed?) and consists of the top forest and the below cave ecosystems.

What if I had 48 hours at Mammoth Cave?

- The Passage tour ($5.00) of the main parts of the caves

- The Introduction to caving tour ($23.00)

- Historic tour ($12.00)

- Horseback riding down Green River Trail

- Camping by the Green River

What if I had a week to spend in Mammoth Cave?

- Passage tour

- Wild Cave tour

- Historic tour

- New Entrance tour

- Mammoth Cave camping ($17.00)

- Underwater cave canoeing of Frozen Niagara

- Horseback riding/camping at Maple springs (60 miles of horseback riding trails and camping along the Green River)

- Bike down White Oak Trial (shortest trail of 2.47 miles)

- Ride the Green River Ferry and the Houchines Ferry down the Green River (25 miles) or the Nolin River (6 miles)