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'Plan Ahead': Mammoth Cave National Park Preparing For A Busy Summer Season

Alana Watson

Mammoth Cave National Park is anticipating a busy summer season as COVID-19 restrictions are coming to an end. Park officials are encouraging people to plan ahead before they visit.

Ranger guided cave tours are already back up and running for the 2021 summer season. Mammoth Cave had opted out of the ranger tours and offered self-guided tours during the worst times of the pandemic.

The National Park in south-central Kentucky also offers activities outside of the caves, like horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing, and ziplining. 

“We always like to say that Mammoth Cave is two parks in one," said Molly Schroer, public information officer for Mammoth Cave National Park.

"We’ve got the cave tours which we’re obviously most famous for, but on the surface there’s lots of activities people can do. There’s the hiking trails, horseback riding, biking, and of course our river use which has picked up popularity in the last few years.”

A portion of the park recently earned a national water trail designation, the first in the Commonwealth. 

Schroer explained that the designation will allow expanded public access to Green and Nolin Rivers this summer for people to explore and enjoy. 

Park officals are encourging visitors to plan upcoming trips in advance to take advantage of everything the park offers. 

“Summer is traditionally our busiest season, so we do recommend people plan ahead. We are expecting a lot of people to come through this summer as people are getting out and enjoying the park," Schroer said. "So people should get online and purchase tickets in advance through the parks website where you can find links to”

Guests can buy tickets online and download the National Parks App to learn more about what services and activities are available at Mammoth Cave.

Former student intern Alana Watson rejoined WKU Public Radio in August 2020 as the Ohio Valley ReSource economics reporter. She transitioned to the station's All Things Considered Host in July of 2020 and became the student reporting and producing specialist in 2023. Watson has a B.A. in Broadcasting Journalism for Western Kentucky University and a M.A in Communications from Austin Peay State University. She is a Nashville native and has interned at WPLN-FM in Nashville. Watson was also a 2nd Century Fellow for Wisconsin Public Radio before rejoining WKU Public Radio. She has received numerous awards for her reporting.
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