Mammoth Cave National Park: A Pet-Friendly Destination

Mammoth Cave National Park, located in central Kentucky, is one of the world’s longest caves and home to a diverse ecosystem. The cave is also a popular tourist destination, receiving over half a million visitors each year. Mammoth Cave is pet friendly, and visitors are welcome to bring their furry friends along on their exploration of the cave. There are a few things to keep in mind when bringing a pet to Mammoth Cave, however, such as making sure they are up to date on their vaccinations and keeping them on a leash at all times. There are also a few areas of the cave that are off limits to pets. Overall, Mammoth Cave is a great place to bring your pet for a fun and educational experience. Just be sure to take a few precautions and you and your pet will have a blast!

Is it worth it to visit Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky? Yes, this is the case. It’s not necessary to go to a park for three or four days to do nothing. It is possible to take a walking electric light tour, crawl through the maze-like trails of the 1800s, or simply walk around the neighborhood.

Can I Take My Dog In Mammoth Cave?

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A day boarding facility is available at the Mammoth Cave Kennels. Limit your pet’s leashing to no more than 6 feet at all times. On any surface trail in the park, you can keep your shed pets.

The park’s hiking trails, which are dotted with rolling hills, rocky outcrops, and scenic river valleys, cover more than 80 miles. The cave tours are free in this national park, but a permit is required to enter. There is no fee for exploring any of the aboveground areas. The National Park Service has divided the park into two sections. On the south side, a Visitor Center, lodge, and cottages can be found. On the northern side of the campground, there is a historic entrance to Mammoth Cave and the main campground. The south side of the park has 18 miles of easy-to-reach trails.

The bike and hike trail runs for about eight miles along a grade from the old railroad. Drive to the Cedar Sink Trail, Sand Cave Trail, Sloan’s Crossing Pond Walk, or Turnhole Bend Nature Trail in addition to these routes. Trail systems can be found from the main cave entrance across the Green River. There are three campgrounds within the Mammoth Cave National Park. The McCoy Hollow Trail is the most popular long-distance trail in the park. Some trails are recommended on the internet for a more interesting trip. Dogs are permitted at all of the campgrounds and (when paying an extra $9 per night), in the cottages.

In terms of dog-friendly parks, the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky ranks first. There are no dogs permitted in the cave, but the park can still be enjoyed by dogs. At Gateway Arch National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there are dog-friendly lodging options available.

After you have purchased your ticket, you must pick up your tour permit at the visitor center. This permit is valid for a total of three days on a tour. Anyone who takes the tour is required to display the permit. It is not possible to transfer the permit. It’s a good idea to bring a sunscreen and insect repellent if you’re going to the park in the summer. The park is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, from May to September. The Mammoth Cave National Park is one of Kentucky’s most popular tourist destinations. Every year, over two million people visit the site, making it easy to see why. It is divided into two sections: Upper and Lower Caves. The Upper Caves can be accessed from the main entrance of the Mammoth Cave National Monument from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from May to September, and from October to April. The Lower Caves are open from April to October, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Mammoth Cave National Park. The park is home to over 300 cave features, including a 77-mile network of underground passageways, 21 major chambers, and more than 6,000 feet of limestone passages. It has hiking trails as well, and they can be difficult to complete at times. Hiking trails can be accessed between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. Make sure you have a warm coat and boots on hand if you are going to the park during the winter. The park is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, from November through March. When planning a visit to the national park of Mammoth Cave, there are several things to consider. A tour ticket is an essential component of any trip.

Can You Just Walk Into Mammoth Cave Without A Tour?

Many visitors to the Mammoth Cave inquire as to whether they can visit the cave without a guided tour. Yes, sir. A ticket is required for this self-guided tour that ends at the Historic Entrance.

How Long Does It Take To Walk Through Mammoth Cave?

More information on the Mammoth Cave Tour tips can be found here. Whether you choose to go on a Mammoth Cave tour or not, it is always a good idea to reserve your tickets in advance.

Can You Take Dogs To Mammoth Lakes?

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We have a dog-friendly environment at Mammoth Lakes, but it may not be the same for our neighboring lands and forests. Dogs are not permitted on Yosemite National Forest trails. The only places you can take your dog are in the front country, such as campgrounds, facilities, and developed recreational areas.

It’s a great place for dogs to run around and play in the lakes, as well as plenty of running space. During the winter and summer, only service animals are permitted in the lodge during operations at Mammoth Mountain. During the winter months, a leashed dog may be allowed on the Minaret road and trail leading to Minaret Vista. In developed areas such as parking lots and the surrounding area, dogs are permitted to run on leads. It is critical that dogs be on a leash in water at all times. Sherwin Lakes and Horseshoe Lake are two of the most accessible dog-friendly lakes.

It is not only dog-friendly, but it is also a great place for you to take your dog for a walk or swim. You’ll have plenty of places to play and explore, and you’ll be able to make new friends with Fido. You can also enjoy a picnic lunch in the lake as well as shade in the sun. Taking your dog for a walk on the lake is the best way to spend the summer.

Mammoth Cave Pet Friendly Lodging

Source: https://milanastravels.com

There are plenty of pet-friendly lodging options near Mammoth Cave National Park, so you can bring your four-legged friend along on your trip! From hotels and motels to cabins and camping, there’s sure to be something that fit your needs. Many of the lodgings offer amenities like fenced-in yards and hiking trails, so your pet can stretch their legs and have a great time while you’re exploring the cave.

Are There Bears In Mammoth Cave National Park?

The American black bear, which was once common in the area, is no longer seen there. As a result of large agricultural development and urbanization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the local population fell in a linear pattern.

What Is The Closest City To Mammoth Cave?

It’s also the closest city to the entrance to Mammoth Cave, as well as the smallest of the three cities. As a result, three nearby cities offer lodging in close proximity to the Mammoth Cave.

Mammoth Cave Dog Kennel Review

Mammoth Cave Dog Kennel Review The Mammoth Cave Dog Kennel is a great place to board your dog while you visit Mammoth Cave National Park. The kennel is located right next to the visitor center, so it’s very convenient. The staff is very friendly and they take great care of the dogs. The kennel is clean and the dogs have plenty of space to run and play. I would definitely recommend the Mammoth Cave Dog Kennel to anyone visiting the park with their dog.

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Mammoth Cave: A Popular Tourist Destination

Mammoth Cave is one of Kentucky’s most popular tourist destinations, and it is also one of the country’s most popular. The Historic Tour is one of the most popular tours because it allows visitors to learn about and see the cave’s history. It begins at the “main entrance,” also known as the “Historic entrance,” in Mammoth Cave. Take a tour of the cave as if you were one of the many visitors who have been there for over 200 years.
At the campground at Mammoth Cave, full-service water, sewer, and electric hookups are available to RV sites.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. national park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. Since the early 19th century, the area has been developed for tourism and recreation.

The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, from March 21st to November 15th. The visitor center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, from March 21st to November 15th. The ticket counter will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends from March 21st to November 15th. From March 21st to November 15th, the cave is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You do not need to pay a fee to enter the park.

What Is Mammoth Cave National Park Famous For?

At Mammoth Cave National Park, the world’s longest known cave system is preserved. The park estimates that it has explored a labyrinth of more than 400 miles in its system, and that a further 600 miles may be discovered there.

Why Is Mammoth Cave Closed?

Due to mechanical problems, the elevator in the cave has been closed indefinitely. We are unable to provide the accessible tour during this time period. Because the tour is only accessible, the accessibility tour only exists.

Mammoth Cave Camping

Mammoth Cave Camping is one of the most popular camping areas in Kentucky. The cave is the longest cave system in the world, and it is a beautiful place to explore. There are many different trails to take while in the cave, and there are also many different camping areas to choose from.

The campground at Mammoth Cave National Park provides camping opportunities for visitors to explore the park’s depths and overland treasures. It is an underground passageway containing 400 miles of naturally sculpted limestone and sandstone. There are plenty of trees to provide privacy between the majority of sites, as well as no neighbors with trees on the opposite side. In my experience, there is almost no Internet or WiFi, and I occasionally receive 1 bar ATT when sending a text message, but this usually does not apply to me. It is not permitted to operate between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., but mine didn’t work, so I didn’t get to try it. There is a nice campground, but it will close due to a lack of visitors. There is no privacy and no cell service at all.

As one of the few places in the country where you can camp in an RV, camping at Mammoth Cave National Park provides an unforgettable and convenient experience. If you have full water, sewer, and electric connections, you can enjoy all of the amenities of a typical park campground without lugging any of your own camping supplies.
The park offers a plethora of activities and attractions for families with children, making RV camping an excellent choice for families. You can take a short tour of the cave or walk the nature trails, or you can spend more time underground in the world of Mammoth Cave.

Camping At Mammoth Cave National Park

It is a stunning natural wonder that is home to some of the world’s most famous caves. Camping is not permitted in the park, but three campgrounds are within walking distance of the park’s visitor center and cave tours. There is also camping available at the Lodge at Mammoth Cave, a short distance from the attractions and adventures. On a regular basis, camping at the site is $25 per night for regular visitors, and $12.50 per night for senior citizens (65 or older), as well as groups of up to ten people. Lodge guests can also enjoy additional perks such as overnight lodging. Other campgrounds have RV and tent accommodations, but Houchin Ferry Campground is a tent-only campground.

Dog Friendly Caves

There are many dog friendly caves that you and your furry friend can explore together! Caves can provide a cool and refreshing respite from the summer heat, and are also a great way to get some exercise. Many dog friendly caves have trails that wind through them, allowing you and your pup to explore at your own pace. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks for you and your dog, as well as a flashlight or headlamp, as some caves can be quite dark.

The 3 Most Popular Dog-friendly Attractions In The Us

As the editors of an online publication that has regularly covered dog-friendly attractions, we felt we would give you a brief rundown on some of the country’s most popular dog attractions. The Hidden River Cave and American Cave Museum are both located in Nashville, Tennessee, a city known for its love of pets. The attractions are pet-friendly, allowing pet owners to bring their beloved furry friends with them on visits. Wind Cave is located in the rolling, golden prairies of western Kansas. Dogs are permitted to run freely on the grassy areas near the visitor center, as well as on the Prairie Vista and Elk Mountain Campground Trails. Pets will be able to accompany their owners when they visit Hidden River Cave in the same way that they can accompany their owners when they visit Hidden River Cave. It is pet-friendly, and it is located in Cave City, Kentucky. Pets will be able to explore a variety of natural areas and green spaces near their owners in a variety of ways, thanks to nearby parks, trails, and green spaces.

Dog-Friendly Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park

Established as a national park in 1941, Mammoth Cave National Park protects the longest known cave system in the world. With 412 miles of cave passages, explorers are still discovering new passages in Mammoth Cave. Unfortunately, your dog will need to stay above ground during their visit to this fascinating national park located in Kentucky.

Luckily, there is still plenty to do with your pup, as Mammoth Cave is home to over 80 miles of hiking trails through rolling hills, rocky outcroppings, and scenic river valleys.

Oh, and did I mentioned that entrance to this national park is free? Yep, you just have to pay for entrance into the cave tours, but everything above ground is open for exploring without an entrance fee.

Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave

History of Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave began to form when layers of limestone were deposited in what would become the state of Kentucky. Scientists believe that around 10,000,000 BCE, rainwater began dissolving the limestone to form the first passages of Mammoth Cave. And by 1,000,000 BCE, the large passages that are the namesake of this “mammoth” cave began to form.

Native Americans likely discovered this cave between 5,000 – 2,000 BCE and the first European, John Houchin, discovered this cave in 1790. The first published use of the name Mammoth Cave didn’t appear until 1810, but from then on, the cave had many recorded uses. Enslaved men mined vast amounts of saltpeter from 1813 to 1814, formal tours began in 1816, the cave was used for tuberculosis patients from 1841-1843 in an experiment that was hoping that cave air could cure tuberculosis, and first photographs of the cave were taken in 1866. And finally, in July of 1941, 45,310 acres were established as Mammoth Cave National Park.

Today, Mammoth Cave National Park is much more than just a cave.

Rolling hills, deep river valleys, and the worlds longest known cave system. Mammoth Cave National Park is home to thousands of years of human history and a rich diversity of plant and animal life, earning it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

https://www.nps.gov/maca/index.htm

Dogs at Mammoth Cave National Park

  • Pets must be leashed (up to 6 feet) at all times.
  • Pets are not permitted in caves or park buildings.
  • Pets can not be left unattended outside or inside a vehicle.
  • Pet waste must be immediately collected and disposed of in the nearest trash can.

You can find all of the pet rules/regulations for Mammoth Cave National Park on the official NPS site.

Even though dogs are not allowed in the cave, you can still spend a couple of dog-friendly days exploring this national park. But if you only have one day, we recommend you explore the area around the Visitor Center.

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Visitor Center Area/South Side Trails

Mammoth Cave National Park is split into two “sides” by the Green River. The south side contains the Visitor Center area, the lodge and cottages, the main campground, and the historic entrance to Mammoth Cave. There are 18 miles of easy to access trails on the south side of the park, and about 7 of those miles are right around the Visitor Center area.

Most of the trails around the Visitor Center are short, but they can be linked together to make an approximately 5-mile loop around the area. Features of these trails include ridgetops, river views, sinkholes, cave-fed springs, cemeteries, and views of the historic entrances to Mammoth Cave and Dixon Cave.

Since there were two humans present during this trip, we did switch off watching the dogs so that each of us could take the opportunity to walk into the cave on the self-guided discovery tour (which took each of us about 30 minutes to complete).

The morning before our cave “tours,” we spent time hiking around the Visitor Center area and were impressed with the trails. From the campground, we were able to take the Whites Cave Trail over to the Sinkhole trail. The Sinkhole trail, as its name implies, features a large sinkhole. We then took the River Springs Trail to the River Styx spring. River Styx Spring

The spring is the location where the River Styx flows out of Mammoth Cave on its way to join the Green River. From the River Styx Spring, you can then link up with the Green River Trail for views of the Green River and loop back to the Woodland Cottages area or you can choose to take the River Styx Spring Trail past the historic entrance of Mammoth Cave ending near the Visitor Center.

There are a couple of additional trails on the South Side that are not right around the visitors center. The Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike and Hike Trail starts by the Visitor Center (although you can also access it from the campground) and runs along an old railroad grade for about 8 miles. The trail ends in Park City, Kentucky.

You can also drive to the Cedar Sink Trail, Sand Cave Trail, Sloan’s Crossing Pond Walk, or the Turnhole Bend Nature Trail. Ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 miles in length, none of these trails are very long. During our trip, we stopped with the pups at the Turnhole Bend Nature Trail and enjoyed the 0.5-mile “hike” there, but it was pretty short.

Backcountry Trails

With over 60 miles of backcountry trails, make sure to grab a backcountry map at the visitor center before hitting the trails. The backcountry trails are located across the Green River from the main cave entrance and Visitor Center. As a result, you have two options for accessing these trails. Drive out of the park and around to one of the roads that grant access to the northern part of the park. Or walk or drive your car to the Green River Ferry.

The Green River Ferry was first developed in 1934 and is the last remaining active ferry in the park. The Ferry shuttles vehicles, hikers, and bikers across the Green River from 6 am to 9:55 pm every day except Christmas.

*Please note: The ferry has room for 2-3 cars and no RVs or trailers are allowed on the ferry.

After taking the ferry across the river, we parked at the parking lot near Maple Springs Campground. This allowed us easy access to several hiking trails. We hiked the Maple Springs Trail and part of the Mill Branch Trail. Be aware that trails in the backcountry may be shared with mountain bikers or equestrians, so it is very important to follow leash regulations on these trails.

The Maple Springs Trail was nice, but the Mill Branch Trail was pretty average. The terrain was gravel/rock and we didn’t have a lot of overlooks or good views. Although the forest was nice, the trail wasn’t anything special. And after a couple of miles of walking through the fresh cobwebs (we were the first ones on the trail that morning trying to beat the heat), we turned around.

Although I wouldn’t recommend the trails that we hiked, there are recommendations on the internet for more interesting trails. Check out this review quoted below.

If the cave system is the grand dame, then the McCoy Hollow Trail is her squire. The most popular long distance trail in the park starts at the Temple Hill parking area and then traverses a diverse, 6 miles of hollows, steep ridges, streams and rock walls through the forest. The trail is one-way and it can be either backtracked for a big, 12-mile day or done as overnight trip. Use caution as there are some drop-offs near the trail and stream crossings can be slick.

https://rootsrated.com/stories/insider-s-guide-to-mammoth-cave-national-park

To find an online map of the numerous backcountry trails, follow this link.

Camping at Mammoth Cave National Park

There are 3 campgrounds in Mammoth Cave National Park, plus backcountry campsites and rooms and cottages at the Mammoth Cave Lodge. Dogs are allowed at all of the campgrounds and (for only an extra $9/night) in the Woodland Cottages at Mammoth Cave Lodge.

Mammoth Cave Lodge also operates a rustic day boarding kennel if you need to leave your pet unattended while you explore the cave. We didn’t use this service, but you can find more information about the rustic outdoor kennel on Mammoth Cave Lodge’s website.

During our stay, we parked our camper trailer at the main campground near the Visitor Center: Mammoth Cave Campground. We had a nice shaded spot with a fairly private campfire area. We really only shared it with a few deer who wandered through while we cooked dinner over the fire. The shaded site was super nice as it kept the camper cooler during the hot days.

Dog-Friendly Activities in the Surrounding Areas

With so many dog-friendly trails at Mammoth Cave National Park, you shouldn’t need to venture away in order to have a good trip with your pup. But Go Pet Friendly has some fun suggestions of other activities to do with dogs in Kentucky.

Or take the time to visit some nearby National Parks, like Gateway Arch National Park in Missouri or Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

Visiting Mammoth Cave National Park with Your Dog

Overall, Mammoth Cave is one of the most dog-friendly National Parks in the United States. With around 80 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails + cottages that allow dogs and an outdoor dog kennel, this National Park is easy to visit with your four-legged family member in tow.

While dogs aren’t allowed in the cave, this park can still be well explored with dogs. And even if dogs can’t explore all of the caverns below-ground, they can still enjoy the Below Your Feet program around the visitor center area. The Below Your Feet program highlights 14 locations along trails and walking paths that let you know which part of the cave that you are standing above.

We really enjoyed the campground and Visitor Center area trails. We weren’t as impressed with the north side trails we chose, but we only explored around 7 miles out of 60, so I don’t know that we had a large enough sample size to draw a good conclusion about the backcountry trails as a whole.

If you are interested in learning more about Mammoth Cave National Park, check out the YouTube video below.

Dog-Friendly Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park

Established as a national park in 1941, Mammoth Cave National Park protects the longest known cave system in the world. With 412 miles of cave passages, explorers are still discovering new passages in Mammoth Cave. Unfortunately, your dog will need to stay above ground during their visit to this fascinating national park located in Kentucky.

Luckily, there is still plenty to do with your pup, as Mammoth Cave is home to over 80 miles of hiking trails through rolling hills, rocky outcroppings, and scenic river valleys.

Oh, and did I mentioned that entrance to this national park is free? Yep, you just have to pay for entrance into the cave tours, but everything above ground is open for exploring without an entrance fee.

Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave

History of Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave began to form when layers of limestone were deposited in what would become the state of Kentucky. Scientists believe that around 10,000,000 BCE, rainwater began dissolving the limestone to form the first passages of Mammoth Cave. And by 1,000,000 BCE, the large passages that are the namesake of this “mammoth” cave began to form.

Native Americans likely discovered this cave between 5,000 – 2,000 BCE and the first European, John Houchin, discovered this cave in 1790. The first published use of the name Mammoth Cave didn’t appear until 1810, but from then on, the cave had many recorded uses. Enslaved men mined vast amounts of saltpeter from 1813 to 1814, formal tours began in 1816, the cave was used for tuberculosis patients from 1841-1843 in an experiment that was hoping that cave air could cure tuberculosis, and first photographs of the cave were taken in 1866. And finally, in July of 1941, 45,310 acres were established as Mammoth Cave National Park.

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Today, Mammoth Cave National Park is much more than just a cave.

Rolling hills, deep river valleys, and the worlds longest known cave system. Mammoth Cave National Park is home to thousands of years of human history and a rich diversity of plant and animal life, earning it the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

https://www.nps.gov/maca/index.htm

Dogs at Mammoth Cave National Park

  • Pets must be leashed (up to 6 feet) at all times.
  • Pets are not permitted in caves or park buildings.
  • Pets can not be left unattended outside or inside a vehicle.
  • Pet waste must be immediately collected and disposed of in the nearest trash can.

You can find all of the pet rules/regulations for Mammoth Cave National Park on the official NPS site.

Even though dogs are not allowed in the cave, you can still spend a couple of dog-friendly days exploring this national park. But if you only have one day, we recommend you explore the area around the Visitor Center.

Visitor Center Area/South Side Trails

Mammoth Cave National Park is split into two “sides” by the Green River. The south side contains the Visitor Center area, the lodge and cottages, the main campground, and the historic entrance to Mammoth Cave. There are 18 miles of easy to access trails on the south side of the park, and about 7 of those miles are right around the Visitor Center area.

Most of the trails around the Visitor Center are short, but they can be linked together to make an approximately 5-mile loop around the area. Features of these trails include ridgetops, river views, sinkholes, cave-fed springs, cemeteries, and views of the historic entrances to Mammoth Cave and Dixon Cave.

Since there were two humans present during this trip, we did switch off watching the dogs so that each of us could take the opportunity to walk into the cave on the self-guided discovery tour (which took each of us about 30 minutes to complete).

The morning before our cave “tours,” we spent time hiking around the Visitor Center area and were impressed with the trails. From the campground, we were able to take the Whites Cave Trail over to the Sinkhole trail. The Sinkhole trail, as its name implies, features a large sinkhole. We then took the River Springs Trail to the River Styx spring. River Styx Spring

The spring is the location where the River Styx flows out of Mammoth Cave on its way to join the Green River. From the River Styx Spring, you can then link up with the Green River Trail for views of the Green River and loop back to the Woodland Cottages area or you can choose to take the River Styx Spring Trail past the historic entrance of Mammoth Cave ending near the Visitor Center.

There are a couple of additional trails on the South Side that are not right around the visitors center. The Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike and Hike Trail starts by the Visitor Center (although you can also access it from the campground) and runs along an old railroad grade for about 8 miles. The trail ends in Park City, Kentucky.

You can also drive to the Cedar Sink Trail, Sand Cave Trail, Sloan’s Crossing Pond Walk, or the Turnhole Bend Nature Trail. Ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 miles in length, none of these trails are very long. During our trip, we stopped with the pups at the Turnhole Bend Nature Trail and enjoyed the 0.5-mile “hike” there, but it was pretty short.

Backcountry Trails

With over 60 miles of backcountry trails, make sure to grab a backcountry map at the visitor center before hitting the trails. The backcountry trails are located across the Green River from the main cave entrance and Visitor Center. As a result, you have two options for accessing these trails. Drive out of the park and around to one of the roads that grant access to the northern part of the park. Or walk or drive your car to the Green River Ferry.

The Green River Ferry was first developed in 1934 and is the last remaining active ferry in the park. The Ferry shuttles vehicles, hikers, and bikers across the Green River from 6 am to 9:55 pm every day except Christmas.

*Please note: The ferry has room for 2-3 cars and no RVs or trailers are allowed on the ferry.

After taking the ferry across the river, we parked at the parking lot near Maple Springs Campground. This allowed us easy access to several hiking trails. We hiked the Maple Springs Trail and part of the Mill Branch Trail. Be aware that trails in the backcountry may be shared with mountain bikers or equestrians, so it is very important to follow leash regulations on these trails.

The Maple Springs Trail was nice, but the Mill Branch Trail was pretty average. The terrain was gravel/rock and we didn’t have a lot of overlooks or good views. Although the forest was nice, the trail wasn’t anything special. And after a couple of miles of walking through the fresh cobwebs (we were the first ones on the trail that morning trying to beat the heat), we turned around.

Although I wouldn’t recommend the trails that we hiked, there are recommendations on the internet for more interesting trails. Check out this review quoted below.

If the cave system is the grand dame, then the McCoy Hollow Trail is her squire. The most popular long distance trail in the park starts at the Temple Hill parking area and then traverses a diverse, 6 miles of hollows, steep ridges, streams and rock walls through the forest. The trail is one-way and it can be either backtracked for a big, 12-mile day or done as overnight trip. Use caution as there are some drop-offs near the trail and stream crossings can be slick.

https://rootsrated.com/stories/insider-s-guide-to-mammoth-cave-national-park

To find an online map of the numerous backcountry trails, follow this link.

Camping at Mammoth Cave National Park

There are 3 campgrounds in Mammoth Cave National Park, plus backcountry campsites and rooms and cottages at the Mammoth Cave Lodge. Dogs are allowed at all of the campgrounds and (for only an extra $9/night) in the Woodland Cottages at Mammoth Cave Lodge.

Mammoth Cave Lodge also operates a rustic day boarding kennel if you need to leave your pet unattended while you explore the cave. We didn’t use this service, but you can find more information about the rustic outdoor kennel on Mammoth Cave Lodge’s website.

During our stay, we parked our camper trailer at the main campground near the Visitor Center: Mammoth Cave Campground. We had a nice shaded spot with a fairly private campfire area. We really only shared it with a few deer who wandered through while we cooked dinner over the fire. The shaded site was super nice as it kept the camper cooler during the hot days.

Dog-Friendly Activities in the Surrounding Areas

With so many dog-friendly trails at Mammoth Cave National Park, you shouldn’t need to venture away in order to have a good trip with your pup. But Go Pet Friendly has some fun suggestions of other activities to do with dogs in Kentucky.

Or take the time to visit some nearby National Parks, like Gateway Arch National Park in Missouri or Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

Visiting Mammoth Cave National Park with Your Dog

Overall, Mammoth Cave is one of the most dog-friendly National Parks in the United States. With around 80 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails + cottages that allow dogs and an outdoor dog kennel, this National Park is easy to visit with your four-legged family member in tow.

While dogs aren’t allowed in the cave, this park can still be well explored with dogs. And even if dogs can’t explore all of the caverns below-ground, they can still enjoy the Below Your Feet program around the visitor center area. The Below Your Feet program highlights 14 locations along trails and walking paths that let you know which part of the cave that you are standing above.

We really enjoyed the campground and Visitor Center area trails. We weren’t as impressed with the north side trails we chose, but we only explored around 7 miles out of 60, so I don’t know that we had a large enough sample size to draw a good conclusion about the backcountry trails as a whole.

If you are interested in learning more about Mammoth Cave National Park, check out the YouTube video below.

Source https://www.patchpets.com/mammoth-cave-national-park-a-pet-friendly-destination/

Source https://pawsitivelyintrepid.com/dog-friendly-guide-to-mammoth-cave-national-park/

Source https://pawsitivelyintrepid.com/dog-friendly-guide-to-mammoth-cave-national-park/#:~:text=Dogs%20at%20Mammoth%20Cave%20National%20Park%20Dogs%20are,are%20not%20permitted%20in%20caves%20or%20park%20buildings.

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