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Overview

The world's longest cave system weaves along the Green and Nolin Rivers in south central Kentucky. The massive subterranean labyrinths are spectacular, eerie and unlike anything else on earth. The caves are accessed by National Park Service-led tours that last in duration from 90 minutes to six hours, and range in level of difficulty. Rangers provide excellent cultural and natural history context for the caves, which have been used for everything from mining saltpeter for gunpowder, to acting as a tuberculosis hospital, to providing ethereal acoustics for orchestras. Three campgrounds offer tent sites, and tour operators lead horseback rides ...

The world's longest cave system weaves along the Green and Nolin Rivers in south central Kentucky. The massive subterranean labyrinths are spectacular, eerie and unlike anything else on earth. The caves are accessed by National Park Service-led tours that last in duration from 90 minutes to six hours, and range in level of difficulty. Rangers provide excellent cultural and natural history context for the caves, which have been used for everything from mining saltpeter for gunpowder, to acting as a tuberculosis hospital, to providing ethereal acoustics for orchestras. Three campgrounds offer tent sites, and tour operators lead horseback rides above the caves, or canoe trips on the rivers.

Debra Landau
About the Expert

Debra Landau has written eight Lonely Planet guidebooks, including books on the USA, Caribbean, and the South.

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Debra Landau for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A U.S. National Park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the most elongated cave system known in the world.
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time from April to November. Mid-summer is the busiest, and you'll want to make tour and camping reservations well in advance.