Hubs and I marked another national park off of our list recently! We took a trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. It was a really nice little weekend trip for us and didn’t cost us much (which was exciting, as we are saving for our big trip later this year). I wanted to share some photos and insight on our trip. It was a great weekend getaway, we learned a lot, and the views were so lovely!
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Since we were coming from GA, we decided to drive. It was about five hours from the Atlanta area and the drive was pretty pleasant. We stopped in Bowling Green, KY which was so lovely. I got a cool hat at the Target there (because I FORGOT my beloved one) and we ate the BEST donuts of our lives at Great American Donut. Seriously, do not skip that place if you’re ever near Bowling Green. Mammoth Cave National Park is about 45 minutes from it. If you have the time, I would definitely recommend checking the area out. It was quaint and beautiful. I would have loved to explore it further.
We decided to camp at the Mammoth Cave National Park campground. It cost us about $20/night. To reserve a space, we visited recreation.gov. The campground was nice, the bathroom was very clean, and the campsites were quite large. Since it was a weekend in June the campground was pretty full. It’s not the most private campground by design but it didn’t bother us much. We are getting pretty good at getting our tent and campsite set up, so in a little under an hour we had our tent paradise ready. If you’re interested in the must-have gear we take camping, check out my car camping essentials post. There are links to all my favorite camping gear and some insight on why it’s necessary.
We arrived and set up camp later in the day, so we just walked around and explored a little that afternoon. We found a beautiful trail near our campsite that backed up to the ferry that takes your car over the Green River. We took the ferry across the river the next day before our cave tour. It was a very neat experience and I enjoyed waving to the ferry operator very much. Once we were on the other side of the river, we took a gorgeous drive through the woods. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip, for sure! We made a forest friend along the way, too. The deer are extremely friendly and not at all phased by humans. The photo below was not zoomed in at all, this is how close we were!
Later that day, we took a tour of the cave. I’ll be honest, I was a bit wary about the cave tour. I didn’t think I was a big fan of caves, but as it turns out.. I LOVE THEM. Seriously, the cave tour was a fantastic experience and I look forward to exploring more caves in my lifetime. There are many different cave tours you can reserve, but be sure to reserve them in advanced on recreation.gov. The one we really wanted to go on (The River Styx tour) was completely booked an entire month before our trip. We ended up going on the Historic tour and really enjoyed it. I feel it was a perfect beginner’s tour. One (literally) cool thing, though, the cave is 54 degrees all year round. I wore leggings and a fleece pullover and was fine throughout the tour. There was a small child in front of me with shorts and a tee shirt who didn’t seem phased by the cool temperatures at all. We learned so much and had some really cool experiences (like crossing a bridge over a bottomless pit!). One of my favorite parts of the tour was seeing the cave graffiti from the mid 1800s. It was amazing! The Historic tour seemed to be family-friendly as there were lots of kids and parents and grandparents of all ages on the tour with us. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from the tour (caves tend to be dimly lit, ya’ll).
We were so excited to get one park closer to our goal of ALL the national parks. We would 10/10 go back to Mammoth Cave and I am now a fan of caves. All in all, this was a really great low budget weekend trip.