National Treasures: Touring America’s National Parks on a Beer Adventure

Mammoth Cave National Park // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Mammoth Cave National Park // Photo by Brian Kaufenberg

Mammoth Cave National Park

Founded:

Established in 1941, Mammoth National Park covers over 52,000 acres preserving the Mammoth cave system, part of the Green River valley and the hilly countryside of south central Kentucky. With over 400 miles explored, Mammoth is home to the world’s longest known cave system. Just that fact, makes it worth the visit.

Things To Do:

Although there are plenty of activities above ground like kayaking the Green River and hiking the trails, the cave tours are the highlight of the park. On the electric lit tours, you’ll see popular attractions such as Grand Avenue, Frozen Niagara, and Fat Man’s Misery. If you want to really explore the cave, take a “Wild” tour which ventures away from the developed areas and into muddy crawls and dusty tunnels. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.

Where To Stay:

To get away from the hustle and bustle around Mammoth Cave, hop on the ferry and head over to the Houchin Ferry Campground. Here you can set up camp in this 12-site primitive area. Offering seclusion and a campsite near the river, Houchin is a fantastic place to camp while at Mammoth National Park.

Distilleries:

When in Rome, Kentucky, drink as Kentuckians do—which is to say, drink bourbon. The state of Mammoth National Park is also home to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a tour of 17 different bourbon distilleries and historical sites. Fly into Lexington directly and spend a day touring bourbon legends Wild Turkey, Four Roses, Woodford Reserve, and Town Branch, as well as the smaller craft distillery Barrel House Distilling Co. Head south to hit two other craft distilleries, Willet and Limestone Branch, before making it to Mammoth Caves.

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