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Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
During National Park Week (NPWeek), April 21-29, Mammoth Cave National Park will offer free Discovery and Mammoth Passage cave tours. Park staff have scheduled special walks and activities on Wildflower Day, April 21, and Junior Ranger Day, April 28.
"Parks are a great place to get out and play," said Superintendent Patrick Reed. "Outdoor activities are beneficial to a person's physical and mental health - and it's just plain fun. Make it a point to schedule some nature-time for yourself and your family. In addition to the free Discovery and Mammoth Passage tours, Wildflower Day and Junior Ranger Day are packed full of outdoorsy activities we are sure you will enjoy."
Go to www.nps.gov/maca/planyourvisit/maca_events.htm for a full listing of scheduled activities on these days, such as nature walks, birding hikes, a family scavenger hunt, an art workshop, and many other ranger-led programs.
"On Junior Ranger Day, we have asked some of the park scientists and researchers to be available to visitors to discuss their work, like water quality, migratory birds, non-native plants, bat behavior, and cave water flow," said Ranger Leslie Price, NPWeek coordinator. "We use data from Mammoth Cave researchers every day," added Reed. "Park management is led by science-based decision making."
Visitors must pick up their free tickets at the visitor center ticket office prior to tour times. On April 21 and April 28, the park will off free self-guided Discovery tours between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, April 22 through Friday, April 27 and on Sunday April 29, the park will offer free Mammoth Passage Tours at 9:00, 10:00, 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 2:45, and 4:15.
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 during National Park Week.
Mammoth Cave Hotel will offer a 10 percent discount on all regularly priced gift shop merchandise during NPWeek.