Mammoth Cave Trail Guide
Mammoth Cave National Park has some fascinating trails and the Mammoth Cave Trail Guide thoroughly described them. Locals are fully aware of the quality hiking, but Mammoth Cave is seldom mentioned in the hiking world. The caves steal the limelight—appropriately one might argue—but the trails are nothing to dismiss. In fact, the trails at Mammoth Cave are some of the most interesting and unique that you'll find anywhere. Karst topography supplies an interconnected cave, stream, and trail system that turns most hikes at Mammoth Cave into enjoyable geology lessons.
Mammoth Cave National Park is an oversized geologic showcase, with the caves being just one part of the display. Unless you explore the above ground features of the park you'll never fully appreciate the caves or the interconnectivity of the system. Fortunately for the casual explorer, the easier trails near the Visitor Center are some of the more revealing ones. The longer trails are more challenging and remote. All in all, I seriously doubt that anyone will be disappointed with the hiking potential at Mammoth Cave National Park. That said, and just like all of Kentucky, horses are a problem for quality trails.
This book is now out of print. You might find a copy on Amazon. Since the Park Service at Mammoth Cave National Park would never approve it for sales at the Mammoth Cave Visitor Center, for dubious reasons, it naturally had a lackluster response. Every time I read a few pages I wonder why. I think that I actually like it better than my guides to the Red River Gorge, which have both been very successful. I may update this guide and some point. I still think that it was the best reference for hiking trails at Mammoth Cave National Park and if I had been a first-time visitor to the park, this is the hiking guide I would have preferred. The elevation profiles alone set it apart from the competition. And, as is the case in many national parks, the fact that the Park Service never approved it, tells you that it was probably the guide you really needed.