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Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
MAMMOTH CAVE, Kentucky - September 7, 2012) Mammoth Cave National Park will offer free self-guided Mammoth Cave Discovery cave tours in honor of National Public Lands Day on September 29, 2012.
"Mammoth Cave is your national park," said Acting Superintendent Bruce Powell. "We encourage citizens to appreciate all public lands. In Kentucky there are parks, forests and wildlife areas that are managed by the state and federal government. There are county and city public lands, too. All have been set aside and managed for the public good and enjoyment."
On September 29, visitors must pick up their free Discovery tickets at the visitor center ticket office between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. CT, and then walk to the Historic Entrance to begin their tour.
Being a self-guided tour, the Mammoth Cave Discovery Tour gives visitors the freedom to travel at a brisk walk or a slow stroll. Visitors are required to navigate the steep hill to and from the cave entrance, as well as 64 steps into and out of the cave. Allow at least 30 minutes for the tour, a ¾-mile round trip from the visitor center. Ranger guides are stationed along the route inside the cave to answer questions.
The Mammoth Cave Discovery Tour enters the cave at the Historic Entrance, then traces through Houchins Narrows, the Rotunda, nitre mining artifacts, Audubon Avenue, and Rafinesque Hall. These are some of the mammoth passages for which the cave was named.
Mammoth Cave NP will offer free Mammoth Passage tours November 9-11, Veterans Day weekend. Camping fees and fees for other tours of Mammoth Cave will not be waived on these days.
Please note regarding white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats: While there are no known harmful effects to humans, WNS is responsible for the deaths of more than a million hibernating bats across the eastern United States since its discovery in 2006. WNS has not been found in Mammoth Cave to date, however, park staff are taking precautions to minimize the spread of WNS fungus to or from Mammoth Cave. When going on a Mammoth Cave tour, do not wear clothing or shoes that have been worn in other caves or mines. All participants on cave tours must walk on bio-security mats immediately following the conclusion of their tour.