Saturday we drove approximately 211 miles from Huntsville to Cave City, near Mammoth Cave, KY. 

Huntsville to Mammoth Cave


Mammoth Cave National Park

Tom and I are trying to visit all the National Parks. We thought we’d been to most of them before we discovered there were 62. Before this trip, we had been to 30 and today we picked up #31 —Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. The  91 degrees temperature seemed very hot, but we chose to hike in the park for several hours and ended the day with over 5 miles. Sunday we will be touring the actual cave.Mammoth Cave Natl Park

The river in the park is named Green River.  I’m not sure where the name came from because obviously it’s not green!

IMG 1448

We ended the evening by playing Codenames.

Sunday, June 7

On Sunday we had a 10:00 time for our self-guided tour of Mammoth Cave.  We wore our matching National Parks shirts that have a box to color as we visit each park.

Natl Park shirts

IMG 1505

Entrance to mammoth cave

IMG 1467

 There were park rangers along the way to share interesting information with us.  Mammoth Cave is the largest cave in the world (hence the word “mammoth,” I suppose). The cave and all its passageways total more than 400 miles.  It was inhabited between 4,000 BC and 2,000 BC and then deserted until it was rediscovered in the late 1700s.

IMG 1477

The cave was used to mine calcium nitrate, an ingredient of saltpeter, which was used to make gun powder on an industrial scale for the War of 1812. A labor force of 70 slaves  was used to build and operate the soil leaching apparatus, as well as to haul the raw soil from deep in the cave to the central processing site.

IMG 1462

In 1839 John Crogham bought the cave and used it to run an ill-fated tuberculosis hospital (pictured below) in 1842-1843.  He believed the vapors in the cave would cure tuberculosis. He ultimately died of tuberculosis in 1849.

IMG 1479

This large room (below) was used by a Methodist minister for his Sunday sermons.  Church members walked into the mine with their lanterns, the minister would collect them and place them near his pulpit, and then hand them back after his sermon was finished (to keep people from sneaking out before he was finished)!

IMG 1476

IMG 1502

Our campsite at the Cave County Campground

We ended the evening with two games of Skip-bo.  Ben won the first game and Tom won the second.  I guess I was the loser for today at games 

Trip Statistics:

  • We drove Big Hat 211 miles yesterday for a total of 987 miles
  • We have driven 45 miles in the CRV for a total of 118 miles
  • We are staying at the Cave County Campground - $45 per night
  • We walked 5.10 miles on Saturday while Ben walked 6.03
  • Sunday I walked 7.72 miles and Ben only walked 7, but he did ride his bike for 45 minutes