Visitation up at Mammoth Cave National Park

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Date: February 23, 2010
Contact: Nicole Bull, 270-758-2192

Mammoth Cave National Park just ended its best year for tourism since 2001. Cave visitation in 2009 was up close to 14 percent as compared to 2008. Overall, the entire National Park Service (393 sites) saw a 3.9 percent rise in visitation in 2009.

Mammoth Cave National Park Deputy Superintendent Bruce Powell credits the “value for the money” of cave tours for boosting visitation rates. “Cave tours are a bargain for family recreation,” said Powell. “Shorter trips such as the Mammoth Passage tour cost only $5 for adults, while the popular two-hour long Historic and New Entrance trips cost only $12 for adults and $8 for youth. National park visitors who have a Golden Age or Golden Access pass receive a 50 percent discount on cave tour tickets.”

In 2009, 80 percent of visitors to Mammoth Cave went on a cave tour –a total of 403,095 people. An additional 100,000 visitors used the park for other recreational activities. Mammoth Cave does not charge an entrance fee; people can hike, bike, horseback ride, canoe, kayak, fish, picnic, and take a scenic drive for free. Mammoth Cave has 23 miles of front country trails, more than 60 miles of interconnected backcountry trails, and 31 miles of the scenic Green and Nolin River for visitors to enjoy.

Bowling Green, Kentucky resident, Jeremy Reedy, said he and his wife always bring visiting friends and family to Mammoth Cave. “We take our guests on a walking tour in the cave, or if they are up for a challenge, we take them on the six hour wild cave tour,” said Reedy. “Even though that tour costs $48 it is a great opportunity to go crawl and climb around underground all day.”

Mammoth Cave Superintendent, Patrick Reed credits local tourism marketing agencies for the increase in visitation to Mammoth Cave: “Our partners such as the Caveland Marketing Association, the Kentucky Department of Tourism, local chambers, and tourism commissions do an excellent job of advertising the region and promoting travel to Mammoth Cave. Increased visitation to parks across the United States is a positive sign because it means we are exposing our national treasures to a whole new generation of visitors.”

- NPS -

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007


(270) 758-2180

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