I don’t think I even realized there was a national park in Kentucky (or Ohio) until we started planning routes, but when we found out about Mammoth Cave we decided to check it out. Leigh decided to stay at the Maple Springs campground because she read that it’s quieter than the main campground and closer to some mountain biking trails, and this ended up being a great choice. Also, it was the first time we have had a campground completely to ourselves.
We had our longest day of driving yet from Sevierville, TN to get to Mammoth Cave. We also stopped to get the Bounder washed on the way – it was way overdue. The scenery was beautiful, but we were on winding country roads that seemed barely big enough for an RV. It should be noted that you have to take a small ferry to drive from one side of the park to the other, so you can’t actually drive an RV across the park. Make sure you go around the Green River if you are trying to get to Maple Springs. The ferry is kind of cool though.
I was pleasantly surprised by the mountain bike trails here. They’re fast, flowy, and not really technical, so they were perfect for Leigh and me to ride together, and we could go straight from our campsite. We rode the Big Hollow Trail on our first full day, and I rode it again the second day.
Maple Springs is on the other side of the river from the rest of the park, so we drove our Jeep over to check out Mammoth Cave. Leigh booked a tour ahead of time, and I’m glad she did because it was sold out when we got there. The tour was really the only way to see much of the cave, and it was alright, basically just a walk through the cave. We took the Historic Tour. The guide said that they used to do full day tours with boat trips in the underground river, which sounded a lot more exciting. I actually thought the coolest thing about it was the rush of cool air when entering the cave.
This sounds kind of ridiculous, but I probably would have been up for staying in this park longer if it weren’t for a big dead tree right next to our site. It looked like it was ready to fall right onto the site in the next big storm, and I literally woke up both nights thinking about it. I pointed it out to a ranger, and she said they usually just wait for them to fall, perfect! Glad we made it out of there before the tree fell!