• The Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave

    Mammoth Cave

    National Park Kentucky

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Wildflower Day

Wildflower - Bluets - Houstonia caeruea

Bluets (Houstonia caerulea), also known as "Quaker Ladies", in bloom along the Green River Bluffs Trail

Springtime is a beautiful time of year at Mammoth Cave National Park. The forest explodes in vibrant color signaling the awakening of the woodland from winter's slumber. It certainly gives cause to celebrate. Each year Mammoth Cave National Park celebrates spring during its Wildflower Weekend. Numerous activities, ranger-led programs and local experts provide visitors with opportunities to explore the park above the cave. Best of all, every Wildflower Day activity is free of charge. Come celebrate with us!

This year's Wildflower Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, 2013. The full schedule of Wildflower Day activities is below-there's sure to be something for everyone!

Please Note: All plants and animals are fully protected in the park. Regulations prohibit picking and digging plants. Pets must be kept on a leash.

On Your Own

Investigate wildflowers growing along the ridges
and enjoy the beautiful colors of spring. Take
your children on a nature scavenger hunt to look
for signs of wildlife in the forest. Stalk the
forest floor in search of morel mushrooms. Free
wildflower checklists, scavenger hunts for kids,
and tips for morel hunting are available at the
Visitor Center information desk.


Follow Park Rangers and volunteer naturalists around the park to learn about everything from blossoms to birds, or perhaps try your hand at some art. The list below is sure to have something for you.

All times are Central Daylight Time


Wildflowers, Birds and Butterflies Display
Warren East Garden Club
Warren East Garden Club volunteers
9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Meets at: Visitor Center
Local gardening enthusiasts will have flowers displayed and will assist visitors with wildflower identification. They will also provide tips on how to cater to birds and butterflies in your own backyard.

Plant Native Display
Brice Leech - Park Ranger/Resource Specialist
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Meets at: Visitor Center

Numerous non-native plants are invading the park and overwhelming natural ecosystems. Learn more about what you can do by making informed choices in your landscaping decisions. Live examples of some of our most noxious plants will be on hand.

Bats Display
Park Rangers Heather Thomas and Darlene Onens
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Meets at: Visitor Center

Water & Wildflowers Hike at Cedar Sink
Matt Wood - Park Ranger
8:45 am - 10:30 am
Meets at: Cedar Sink Trailhead

A rich diversity of wildflowers flourish in this impressive limestone sinkhole. Search out spring wildflowers, learn forest ecology and karst geology. There are steep stairways to descend into, and ascend out of, this karst valley at Cedar Sink (Approx. 400 stairs total). A 1.5 mile, moderate hike.


Family Nature Tracks - Plants of the Cave
Park Ranger Heather Thomas
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Meets at: Visitor Center

Join Park Rangers as the entire family gets involved in searching for signs of spring and wildlife along the Visitor Center area trails. An easy 1-mile hike.


Ridge to River Wildflower Hike
Steve Kistler - Park Ranger
Janet Kistler - Local Volunteer Naturalist

10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Meets at: Visitor Center

Join us for a fun, slow-paced hike leading though a mix of ecosystems. Learn about common wildflower species, hear stories about their use, and enjoy their beauty. A two mile moderate hike.


The Art of Wildflowers for Families
John Yakel - Park Ranger/Professional Artist
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Meets at: Visitor Center

View wildflowers through the eyes of an artist and awaken the artist in yourself. Create your own masterpiece of nature. Hands-on sketching and painting with instruction. Art supplies provided.


Water and Wildflowers
Ed Craft - Local Volunteer Naturalist
Heather Thomas - Park Ranger
1:00 pm - 2:45 pm
Meets at: Cedar Sink Trailhead

A rich diversity of wildflowers flourish in this impressive limestone sinkhole. Search out spring wildflowers, learn forest ecology and karst geology. There are steep stairways to descend into, and ascend out of, this karst valley (approx. 400 total stairs). A 1.5 mile, moderate hike.


Beginning Birding for Families
Steve Kistler - Park Ranger/Birder
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Meets at: Visitor Center

Enjoy this leisurely hike as you learn tips and tricks for spotting and identifying birds using sight, sound and behaviors. No experience needed. Binoculars are helpful if you have them; if not we have some to share.


Campfire Stories For Families
Richard Sanders - Park Ranger
7:30 pm - 8:15 pm
Meets at: Park Amphitheater

Round out a day of activities with a relaxing fireside experience with our professional storyteller. Hear some memorable tales in this family friendly activity. It's sure to be a great time in a true classic national park setting!

Did You Know?

Did You Know? Native Americans mined minerals in Mammoth Cave for 2,000 years.

Native Americans of the Early Woodland period gathered minerals from Mammoth Cave between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago ... no one knows why. Objects they left behind – slippers, cane torches, gourds, and mussel shells – remain perfectly preserved in the cave.