In Mammoth Cave National Park, you can camp on a river island, rough it on the floodplain, or find a spot with a river view at Houchin Ferry Camgound.
Camping along the floodplain or river islands is by permit only. With a Backcountry Use Permit, you can camp on riverbanks and islands along the Green and Nolin Rivers. Be sure to camp at least ½ mile away from Green River Ferry, Houchin Ferry Campground, and Dennison Ferry Day-Use Area. Backcountry Use Permits for riverbank or island camping are non-reservable and are obtained at the Mammoth Cave Campground along with a copy of the camping rules and regulations. Remember that if putting in upstream at Munfordville, riverbank or island camping may not be permitted on private lands outside the park. Your Backcountry Use Permit is only valid within Mammoth Cave National Park. For a backcountry map click the following link: Backcountry Map & Guide.
Backcountry Use Permits for riverbank and island camping are free. All other Backcountry Use Permits for backcountry campsites are one time, non-refundable $10 fee and may be obtained in person at the Mammoth Cave Campground or reserved online by clicking here. Further information related to backcountry campsites can be found here.
When setting up your campsite on islands or on the riverbank, remember that sudden rainstorms can cause rapid flooding. Know the weather forecast so you can anticipate weather-related problems. To hear the National Weather Service forecast in the area, tune your radio to AM 530. The park will not issue Backcountry Use Permits for riverside camping when the Green River level is 20 feet or greater. To check the current river level, please click here.
River levels and current fluctuate dramatically, particularly during the winter months, and snags or sandbars may be hidden underwater. Observe weather conditions. Flooding is possible. In case of storms, leave the water and seek shelter.
A number of regulations apply when you camp in the park. Please read the following Backcountry Camping Rules and Regulations before camping, and obtain a copy for your trip at the Mammoth Cave Campground when registering.