MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK

Yesterday we took a tour of the Mammoth Caves. We squeezed through tight spaces, went up and down hundreds of steps, walked through huge caverns, and looked at beautiful dripstones - it was pretty amazing!!

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Another first on this adventure, we took a day to explore the Mammoth Cave National Park. I looked at the long list of possible tours (there are quite a few), and picked one I thought would be fun but not too challenging for the kids.

This is also the first time the kids got to earn a junior ranger badge. While we waited for our bus the kids started working on their books.

Once we were ready to load the bus, the rangers reminded us that this was a moderate level tour, we would be going through tight spaces, climbing a total of about 500 steps, and there would be no restrooms. 

There’s something about being told you will not have access to a bathroom for an hour, that triggers your brain to believing you have to pee NOW!!!  

We took the kids to the restroom one more time and then climbed on the bus. You would have thought this was a main attraction!  The kids were so excited just to get on the bus!! Turns out they don’t ever remember being on a bus before… maybe they never have been on a bus, I sure can’t remember!

A few minutes later we arrived at the entrance to the cave. Once again the ranger reminded us what we had signed up for and gave us a last opportunity to back out. I looked at Aaron with a “we’ll be fine right?!?” kinda look.  We shrugged our shoulders and made our way into the cave!

We started our decent into the cave, probably half of those 500 steps were in the first 15 minutes of the tour. Small steps, tight spots between the walls of the cave, ducking here and there, we made our way down until we reached a huge open area. 

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The ranger gave us some interesting facts about the caves. There are 400 miles of interlinking caves that are currently mapped, but the total depth is still unknown. He explained how the drip formations are formed, and then warned us we would slowly start making our way back up.

Next we walked through the Frozen Niagara formations. It’s quite an amazing sight, and sadly photos just can’t portray their intricacy and beauty.

We made our way out of the cave, and it was totally a worthwhile experience!  If you are ever near Bowling Green, KY, you should plan to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. We could have easily spent another two days and taken different tours, there is so much to see!

The kids finished their workbooks and collected their first Junior Ranger badges!!