Mammoth Cave National Park

About Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave is the most extensive cave system in the world, with more than 345 surveyed miles of cave passageways and an estimated 600 miles of undiscovered passages. It is the longest cave system in the world.

Not to be overlooked, the surface area of Mammoth Cave has over 70 miles of trails through out the park. Rivers, bluffs, sinkholes, cave entrances and ridge tops cover the entire Mammoth Cave park system. Other features include wetlands and small sections of old growth forests.

The Nolin and Green rivers run through the parks providing excellent canoeing and fishing. The Green River is considered one of the most biologically diverse rivers in North America.


There are 3 campgrounds in the Mammoth Cave area. Houchins Ferry Campground is available on a first come basis, reservations are suggested for Mammoth Cave Campground and reservations are required for Maple Springs Group Campground. All sights include toilets, grills, tables and water. No hook-ups are available.

For reservations call 270-758-2180 or Online at

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is permitted in 13 designated sites, on river banks and on islands by permit only. Free permits can be obtained at the visitors center.

McCoy Hollow Trail

McCoy TrailTrail Head: Houchens Ferry Road at Temple Hill Cemetery 6.3 mile one way. This trail is strenuous and does not offer a lot to see. I was hoping to have some nice vistas of the Green river, but was disappointed. A good place to start if you plan to backpack over to Good Springs Church.

First Creek Trail

Second Camp CreekTrail Head: First Creek Parking lot at Houchens Ferry Road. First Creek Trail begins at the rear of the First Creek Parking lot and proceeds toward the western boarder of the park. The trail follows along 2nd Creek and the Nolin River, ending at 1st Creek Lake. This trail is moderate and takes about 4-4.5 hours to complete depending on how often you stop. You can combine 1st Creek Trail, 1st Creek Loop Trail and the western portion McCoy Hollow Trail to make a great weekend backpacking trip. There are four designated campsites along the way.

First Creek Trail Loop

Trail Head: First Creek Loop Trail can be accessed from the west end of McCoy Hollow Trail or the east end of First Creek Trail. The loop travels around First Creek Lake.

Good Spring Loop Trail

Trail head: Good Spring Church 7.9 miles. Waterfalls and Rock houses can be seen along this trail. This is a good 2 day backpack or a long day hike.

Click here for a map

Last Modified 10/6/15

Second Creek CampKentucky Contacts

Mammoth Cave National Park
P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259

Getting There

If you travel south from Lousiville, KY, the most direct route is I-65 south to Exit 53 at Cave City. Another 15 minutes of driving will bring you to the park visitor center.

If you travel north from Nashville, TN, the most direct route is I-65 north to Exit 48 at Park City, KY. Another 10 minutes of driving will bring you to the park visitor center. Nashville and the park are both in the Central Time Zone. Louisville is in the Eastern Time Zone, one hour ahead of the park. Map of Park

Camera Picture Gallery

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