It's Large, Well Mammoth Really

Yep, folks.  We have been traveling underground again.  It seems to be a family favorite.  We took the Historic tour of Mammoth Cave.  This tour was quite a long one too.  Two and a half hours to be exact with about 45 minutes of talking through out the tour.

They encourage you to really think about if you want to go on this tour.  You go through Tall Man's Misery and Shawn was almost crawling.  Fat Man's Misery where only children can get through without touching the cave.  Then you end with a massive, mammoth staircase to reach the first room of the cave.  In all you do over 400 stairs.

I have some advice.  If you know you are going to Mammoth Cave check out the tours long before you get there.  The speciality tours fill up quickly.

One of the most celebrated guides, prior to becoming a National Park, was a slave.  Stephen Bishop earned his freedom by doing tours.  The owner at the time put a stipulation in his will allowing Stephen to purchase his freedom.  Stephen was able to save enough tips from touring clients to buy his way out.  Sadly Stephen died just one year after getting his freedom.

Mammoth Cave was used as a Tuberculosis Hospital.  Many believed that dry cave atmosphere would help them cure the disease.

In the past, prior to the National Park Service taking over the running of Mammoth Cave, you could pay the guides to write your name on the cave or allow you to write your name on the wall.  The Park Ranger referred to this as "Historical Graffiti".  Now it's a federal offense and to quote our guide "Will get you a meeting with a different Ranger who carries a gun and the price of your ticket will go up exponentially."

Back into the heat, humidity, and the "real" world.  

In my opinion, the hardest part of the tour was walking back up the hill after exciting the cave.


I love caves. We search them out wherever we go too. It's just amazing to think that there can be huge caverns hidden just below your feet. What's holding the roof up? ;o)

How'd the kids do with it? We've wondered at what age our kids would be able to handle the hike and/or actually be interested in the cave. Did yours get bored or tired of the hike?

I try not to think about what's holding up the roof......

Our imaginary daughter was 7 before we went underground for the first time. We started with Wind Cave which has a variety of different types of cave formations (boxwork, flowstone,). Wind Cave was also s smaller cave which gave the kids a more interactive experience as well as some adventure.

The kids say the enjoyed Mammoth Cave but I am not sure how much of that had to do with the actual tour or being in the back with Ranger Rose. I do believe they have posted age limits for certain tours as those are geared more to specific interests. They have a kids only tour but your kids are too young (it starts at age 8). They have some self guided tours that might fit your needs. Personally, I would hold off on the longer tours until the youngest was older. If he gets tired someone has to carry him. If he gets bored, he might get upset and once your about 20 minutes in you are committed for the duration.

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