Veterans Day Weekend brings "Roots in the Cave" and free tours

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: October 27, 2011
Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192

On November 11-13, Mammoth Cave National Park will recognize Veterans Day with free cave tours and a special program, Roots in the Cave - Pioneers of Discovery. Cave explorer and World War II soldier Warner P. "Pete" Hanson is the focus of this year's Roots in the Cave, sponsored by the Mammoth Cave Hotel and Mammoth Cave National Park. 

"In 1938, Pete Hanson was the first man to ever step foot in an area of Mammoth Cave known as New Discovery, where delicate gypsum curls and crusts and needles line the walls," said Superintendent Patrick Reed. "To get there, he and Leo Hunt climbed and crawled and swam underwater, a testimony to their physical prowess and understanding of the cave. On Veterans Day Weekend, we invite people out for the special presentations about Pete Hanson, and also the free cave tours." 

Roots in the Cave is an annual fall event that explores the family histories and lore of those people who once lived on what is now parkland: a $25 registration fee is required. Mammoth Cave became a national park in 1941, but before that time this land held 600 farms and 30 communities. Roots in the Cave pulls descendants together to share stories and research. The Hotel has organized a panel discussion, a genealogy room, and a cave trip to Gothic Avenue centered on Mammoth Cave's Pioneers of Discovery. 

Roots in the Cave registration fee of $25 includes a cave tour and admission to the Friday night Panel Discussion. Admission to the Panel Discussion alone is $5, free with purchase of dinner in the hotel dining room. Special hotel rate for Roots in the Cave participants is $45 plus tax. Call 270-758-2225 for reservations. The genealogy room (in the Rotunda Room at Mammoth Cave Hotel) will be open to the public, free of charge on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; participants are encouraged to bring family information to share. Space on the Gothic Avenue cave tour is limited and expected to fill; reservations are required and may be made in person or with credit card by calling Lynn at 270-758-2225 between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. 

For Roots in the Cave questions, please call Mary Anne Davis at 270-773-5099. For a personal copy of the agenda write to   

Free Discovery and Mammoth Passage cave tours November 11-13 

On Friday, November 11 and Sunday, November 13, the park will offer free guided Mammoth Passage tours. Each tour is limited to 80 people; visitors must pick up their free tickets at the visitor center prior to departure times. On Friday and Sunday, Mammoth Passage tours will depart from the visitor center at 9:45, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30.  

On Saturday, November 12, the park will offer free Discovery and Mammoth Passage cave tours. Visitors who would like to go on the self-guided Discovery tour must pick up their free tickets at the visitor center between 10:30 and 1:30, and then walk down the hill to the Historic Entrance. The Mammoth Passage tours on Saturday will depart from the visitor center at 9:45, 2:30, and 3:30.   

Visitors taking the Discovery cave tour should allow at least 30 minutes for the tour, a ¾-mile round trip from the visitor center. Mammoth Passage is a ¾-mile, 1¼ hour cave tour. Both tours require a walk down and up the hill below the visitor center, as well as 68 steps at the Historic Entrance.  

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 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.  

- NPS -

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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


(270) 758-2180

Contact Us