Mammoth Cave National Park
All trails north of the Green River (except Ganter Cave Trail) are open for horseback riding. When hikers and horses meet, horses must be slowed to a walk and hikers must remain quiet. Three campsites at Maple Springs Group Campground are available for riders March through November. Each site can accommodate up to eight horses. Campsites require reservations. For reservations, call the Chief Rangers office at 502-758-2251 or 800-967-2283. Day-use horseback riders can park trailers at Lincoln Trailhead and across the road from Maple Springs Campground; trails are nearby. Always hitch horses more than 100 feet away from designated campsites, trails, or water sources. You may take a guided ride in the park with Double-J Stables (800-730-4773).
Sixty miles of trails north of the Green River (all except Ganter Cave Trail) are open for horseback riding. Day-use horseback riders can park trailers at:
*Across the road from the Maple Springs Campground bulletin board,
*Maple Springs Trailhead, 1/4 mile north of Maple Springs Campground, and
*Good Springs Church.
A trail map is available in the park's free brochure, and other maps and guides sold at the Visitor Center show topographic features and trails in greater detail.
If you plan to camp overnight in the park with horses, the following information applies:
Overnight horseback riders can use Maple Springs Group Campground, located five miles from the Visitor Center and three miles north of the Green River Ferry. The most direct route requires crossing the Green River Ferry, a free ferry with an eight-ton load limit. However, some vehicles (e.g. long horse trailers) cannot be ferried solely because of the length or ground clearance. The Green River Ferry is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9:55 p.m. (except when closed for repairs or during hazardous river conditions). Alternate routes via state and county roads are available and may be more practical for trailers.
Maple Springs Group Campground has seven sites, and four of them are equipped for horseback riders. Each campsite accommodates up to 24 people and eight horses. Facilities include picnic tables, grills, chemical toilets, and fresh water. A small amphitheater located in the center of the campground is available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. Each campsite costs $25 per night and requires reservations. Make reservations by calling the Chief Ranger's office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Central Standard Time (phone number: 502-758-2251). Pay for your campsite (IN CASH ONLY) at the Maple Springs registration/pipesafe located next to the campground bulletin board. If you arrive without a reservation, check in first at the Headquarters Campground to find out if a campsite at Maple Springs is available. Maple Springs Campground check-in time is 12 p.m. and check-out time is 11 a.m.
More specific rules apply to horseback riders using campsites at Maple Springs Group Campground:
Sites 1, 2, 3, and 4 at Maple Springs are designed to accommodate horses. Do not use any of the other Maple Springs Campground sites if you are camping with horses.
Park vehicles only at the gravel spaces located at each campsite. If you need additional parking, use the parking area across the road from the bulletin board.
Leave your campsite clean for the next campers.
Dispose of horse manure by scattering it in the woods at least 200 feet behind the campsites.
Picket areas are located behind sites 1, 2, 3, and 4. You must use these facilities to tie up your horses. Never tie horses to trees.
The central grassy area is for amphitheater and recreational use only. Do not let your horses use the area.
Do not allow your horses near the water spigots in the campground. You must pack water for your horses for drinking or bathing. Hoses can be attached to water spigots temporarily, but do not leave hoses attached.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication