Top Ten U.S. Caves
Stretching 350 miles long and 379 feet deep, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave in the world. To help preserve the cave system—as well as the 50 species of cave creatures it contains—the area was designated a national park in 1941, and a World Heritage Site in 1981.
Exploration of Mammoth Cave dates back some 4,000 years; archaeologists found ancient Adena Indian artifacts nearly a mile inside the cave. One of the most accomplished explorers of Mammoth Cave, Stephen Bishop, was a slave owned by the cave's 19th-century owner, Frank Gorin. During his explorations, Bishop discovered Mammoth Cave's Echo River and the translucent blindfish within, Mammoth Dome, and the Snowball Room. Bishop made one of the first accurate maps of Mammoth Cave and led many tours through its passageways. He also used the cave to hide other slaves heading north to freedom via the Underground Railroad.
Just the Facts
Open: All year
Cave temperature: 54: Fahrenheit year-round
Location: South-central Kentucky
For more information: Call Mammoth
Cave National Park at (270) 758-2328 or visit www.nps.gov/maca
Explore Mammoth Cave National Park
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication