Mammoth Cave National Park Facts

Mammoth Cave National Park Facts
Mammoth Cave National Park is a 52,830 acre park located in the state of Kentucky in the United States. It is named after the cave it partially encompasses, called Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System, which is the world's longest known cave system. Native Americans have inhabited the cave region for at least 6,000 years. It is believed that the first Europeans to discover the cave system did so in the late 1700s, although it is not known if it was Francis Houchin or his brother John Houchin who officially made the discovery. In 1941 Mammoth Cave National Park was officially established. In 1981 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 1990 it was also declared an International Biosphere Reserve.
Interesting Mammoth Cave National Park Facts:
The caves system of Mammoth Cave National Park began to form more than 280 million years ago. The earth rose and twisted and allowed water to erode the rock into the current cave system.
Flatt's Cave was attracting tourists as far back as 1810. This made it one of the country's first tourist attractions.
In the early 20th century the caves in the area of Mammoth Cave National Park were exploited commercially - with land owners making money off tourists who visited the various caves. This period is known as the 'Kentucky Cave Wars'.
Park approval was granted in 1926 but it was not officially established until 1941. During this time land was being acquired and the boundaries established, increasing its size as more land was added.
There are 405 miles of passageways in the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System surveyed.
Within the cave system in Mammoth Cave National Park visitors can see stalactites, stalagmites, natural springs, and gypsum crystals.
Visitors to Mammoth Cave National Park can take an underground boat tour in Lost River Cave. It is believed that this cave offered shelter for Native Americans as far back as 8,000 years ago.
Within Mammoth Cave National Park there are 41 miles of cave trails that have been developed for tourists to explore.
Mammoth Cave National Park has 80 miles of trails for hiking, and some are suitable for biking and horseback riding as well.
Visitors to the park can explore 31 miles of river (Nolin River, and Green River), by canoe.
There are 130 species of animals that use the cave system in Mammoth Caves in some way or another on a regular basis.
Some of the animals found in the park include deer, foxes, coyotes, beavers, wild turkeys, owls, raccoons, opossums, woodchucks, and muskrats.
There are twelve eyeless species of animals living in the caves of Mammoth Caves National Park.
There are at least 100 fish species in Green River including the catfish, muskie, and bluegill.
Some of the highlights of the cave system in the park include the Frozen Niagara, the Grand Avenue, and the Fat Man's Misery.
On average 650,000 people visit Mammoth Cave National Park each year. Of these visitors approximately 400,000 take cave tours, 50,000 people camp in the park, and over 20,000 visit the park's backcountry to explore.

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