Mammoth Cave National Park

Practicalities
Gorp.com

LOCATION
The park is located in central Kentucky, about two hours by car south of Louisville.

DIRECTIONS
Mammoth Cave National Park lies in the heart of Kentucky cave country just off of scenic Interstate 65. From Louisville, travel south on I-65 for about 90 miles. The Mammoth Cave is Exit 53. From there, follow Kentucky Rte. 70 west for a few short miles. It will take you straight into the park.

Other routes include: Highway 31W and 31E from the north; Bluegrass Parkway, Cumberland Parkway, and U.S. 68 from the east; I-65, 31W, and U.S. 68 from the south; and U.S. 231, William H. Natchez Parkway, and Western Kentucky Parkway from the West. All connect with KY 70 and KY 255 to the park.

To reach I-65 from points farther east, the Bluegrass Parkway, Cumberland Parkway, and US 68 are all good routes. From the south, I-65, US 31W, and US 68 are the ways to go; U.S. 231, William H. Natcher Parkway, and the Western Kentucky Parkway will get you there from the West. All connect with KY 70 and KY 255 into the park.

TRANSPORTATION

To Park:
Bus: Southeastern Greyhound Bus stops in Cave City. Taxi service is available from the bus station to the park, approximately 11 miles.

Air
: Major airlines operate in Nashville, TN, and Louisville, KY. Both cities are approximately 90 miles from the park. Car rental is available at the airport.

In Park:
Bicycles are permitted on all paved roadways and there is one short trail especially for bicycles. Visitors may use their own vehicles for sightseeing in the park.

ACCESSIBILITY

Visitor Center
The Visitor Center and its restrooms are accessible. One or more rangers are trained to some degree in sign language. Call the park ahead of time to find out if a sign language interpreter will be available for your tour date. Inquiries may also be made at the information desk. Some ranger-led activities around the visitor center may be accessible; inquire.

Headquarters Campground Area
Loop D has two designated wheelchair-accessible campsites. Restroom facilities are also accessible. The nearby camp store, post office, and laundry facilities are also accessible. Camping facilities are available March through November.

Picnic Area
Open seasonally, the picnic area is minimally accessible. There are two handicapped parking spaces and picnic tables. Restrooms are not accessible for mobility impaired visitors.

The Heritage Trail
This level offers all visitors a leisurely stroll and has been specially designed to accommodate visitors with disabilities. The trail features wheelchair turnouts, rest areas with benches, and lights for evening use. Along this trail, you'll find a beautiful overlook, large trees, and The Old Guides Cemetery. You can borrow a cassette tape describing the walk at the Visitor Center. The trail begins at the end of the footbridge near the Mammoth Cave Hotel.

Hotel and Restaurant
Recent hotel renovations now provide access for visitors in a wheelchair. Four fully accessible overnight accommodations and two fully accessible sets of restrooms are now available.

WEATHER
The temperature in the cave is approximately 54 degrees Fahrenheit year-round but can fluctuate as much as six degrees either way in passageways close to the surface. Entrances may be very cold. The lower passages are more constant. A light jacket or sweatshirt is recommended.

Above Ground Temperatures

Month Normal Highs Normal Lows
January 45 25
February 49 26
March 58 35
April 70 45
May 78 52
June 86 60
July 88 64
August 88 62
September 82 56
October 72 44
November 58 36
December 48 28

advertisement

Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »