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Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
(MAMMOTH CAVE, Kentucky - June 5, 2012) Mammoth Cave National Park Superintendent Patrick Reed announced today that the park will offer free Discovery and Mammoth Passage cave tours on Saturday, June 9, as part of the National Park Service's Get Outdoors Day, an effort to encourage Americans to get out and experience their national park areas.
"It is time to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Kentucky landscapes, above and below ground," said Reed. "A walk in the woods or the cave is refreshing to the mind and body."
Visitors must pick up their free tickets at the visitor center ticket office prior to tour times. The self-guided Discovery tour will run between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.; a free Mammoth Passage tour will depart from the visitor center at 4:45 p.m.
Being a self-guided tour, the Discovery tour gives visitors the freedom to travel at a brisk walk or a slow stroll. Allow at least 30 minutes; the tour distance is ¾ mile round trip from the visitor center. Ranger guides are stationed along the route inside the cave to answer questions.
The ¾-mile, 1¼ hours Mammoth Passage tour enters the cave at the Historic Entrance and follows a route along Houchins Narrows, the Rotunda, the nitre mining artifacts, Audubon Avenue, and Rafinesque Hall. Mammoth Passage is limited to 40 people.
Camping fees and fees for other tours of Mammoth Cave will not be waived. The park does not charge a general entrance fee.
Note--tour requirements regarding white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats:
While there are no known harmful effects to humans, WNS is responsible for the deaths of millions of 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.
- NPS -