August 6, 2015
Contact: Vickie Carson
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., August 6, 2015 – Mammoth Cave National Park will offer free Mammoth Passage cave tours on Tuesday, August 25, 2015, in honor of Founders Day, the 99th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service.
"We are on the brink of multiple, noteworthy anniversaries," said Superintendent Sarah Craighead. "Next year, 2016, is our big year. It is the Centennial of the National Park Service, the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Mammoth Cave as the 26th national park, the 35th anniversary the park's World Heritage designation, and the bicentennial of organized cave tours."
"We invite the public to help us celebrate," added Craighead. "Come out for a free Mammoth Passage cave tour, or hike in the woods, ride your horse in the back country, or get your exercise on one of the park's bike trails. Kayak, canoe, and you can fish without a license inside the park – just abide by Kentucky creel limits. Enjoy your national park!"
Mammoth Passage Tours will depart from the visitor center at the following times: 10:15, 11:00, 12:00, 12:30, 1:00, 1:45, 2:30, and 3:30 (Central Time). The ¾-mile, 1¼-hour Mammoth Passage tour is limited to 40 people.
Participants must pick up a free ticket in the visitor center before going on these tours. The Mammoth Passage Tour requires a walk down and up the steep hill below the visitor center, as well as 160 steps. Visit the Rotunda, one of the largest rooms, explore a vast canyon passageway, and learn about 19th-century saltpeter mining operations and the geologic origins of Mammoth Cave.
Note: tour requirements regarding white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats: While there are no known harmful effects to humans, WNS is responsible for the death of millions of hibernating bats across the eastern United States since its discovery in 2006. WNS was found in Mammoth Cave in winter 2012-13. To minimize the spread of WNS fungus, all participants on cave tours must walk across bio-security mats immediately following the conclusion of their tour to clean their footwear.
The mission of the National Park Service is to care for America's national parks and conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.