Mammoth Cave is truly wondrous and has earned its big moniker. Spelunkers have mapped over 400 miles of the cave and they have not finished. The National Park offers two hour cave tours to see some of the highlights. They also offer a caving tour that takes all day for you adventurous types who don't get claustrophobia. But the park offers hiking trails on the surface, too, as well as campsites, a hotel, and restaurant. Good thing. While Cave City sits just outside of the park it's only an accumulation of has-been tourist traps that can be scary-looking during the off season.
For eats you can bring items in yourself if you are camping or take the risk and eat at the only restaurant around called the Travertine. The Travertine featured down-home fare and fried their chicken in a cast iron skillet (we discovered that most family restaurants in Kentucky do this). We enjoyed the biscuits with cherry preserves. The chicken was decent. The sides, canned. Avoid the burgers. The cherry ice cream was a nice treat. The waitstaff was where the risk ensued. We ate here twice. The first night our blond waitress was the shining example of graciousness and service. On the second night our brunette waitress was the polar opposite and did not want to be there. We tipped accordingly. Also, the county is "moist" meaning beer (Bud and Bud Light) and wine (only Kentucky wine) was offered (but not on a Sunday). We had traveled beyond the borders of bourbon country.
But we were there for the nature, not the food and drink (drink would come later). I'll leave you with a few photos.
|What we came to Mammoth Cave to see|
|The 2 hour walking tour was fairly fast-paced. Taking photos turned out to be a challenge.|
|Orange-toned lights dominated the rock formations|
|The historical entrance to the cave|
|We experienced excellent fall weather as we hiked through the forest trails|
|The Green River|
|A two car ferry carried travelers across the Green River|
|One reason not to drive at night. Deer were out in force (as well as wild turkeys)|
|Biscuits with Cherry Preserves|
|Iron Skillet Fried Chicken|
|Cherry Ice Cream|
|As we headed out for Bourbon Country we decided to skip Dinosaur World|