The partial government shutdown is having an impact on some outdoor enthusiasts in the southern Kentucky region. The Green River Ferry at Mammoth Cave National Park is closed and that’s affecting some hikers and cyclists.
The visitors center at Mammoth Cave National Park is closed and no tours are being held as a result of the government shutdown, but the hiking and bicycling trails at the park are still open the public.
Eddie Bruner is director of Cave Country Trails, a group that promotes cycling, horseback riding, canoeing and hiking in the cave area of southern Kentucky.
Bruner said he cycles six days a week, a total of 250 to 300 miles a week, and regularly rides on-road and off-road in Mammoth Cave National Park.
“With the ferry being closed for the last two weeks during this limited government shutdown, it’s made it difficult for cyclists, as well as hikers, that are in Hart or Barren County to get across the Green River to the large part of the park on the Edmonson County side,” said Bruner.
He said the suspension of the Green River Ferry means instead of being a three- or four-mile drive from the visitors center to the other side of the park, it’s now a 25-mile drive all the way around, either through Brownsville or Munfordville.
Park maintenance isn’t being done during the shutdown, and Bruner said many hikers and cyclists are stopping to move fallen branches off the trails.