Mammoth Cave

Wildflower Day

Five people stand a table that has paints and paper in it while a woman in a green park service uniform with a straw flat hat speaks to them.
Wildflower Day activities include crafts, nature walks, and talks about everything wildflowers!

NPS Photo

Wildflower Day 2023

Join Mammoth Cave rangers and volunteers to celebrate the wildflowers and blooming trees that treat park visitors to colorful displays along park trails, roadways, and forests each spring. The annual event highlights the importance of wildflowers for our human history and environmental health.

Wildflower Day events will take place throughout the day on April 22, 2023, and are free with no reservations or tickets required.

Scheduled Programs

Please note the 1:15 Echo River Springs Photography hike has been changed due to earlier than normal blooming. The Ridge to River Photography Hike is scheduled to take its place from 1:30 - 3:30 pm. For full details, please see the Ridge to River Photography Hike description further down on this page.

Discovery Self-Guided Tour - Free of Charge - No reservations required

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Discovery Self-Guided Tour starts at the Historic Entrance and focuses on early history and prehistory of the cave. This section of cave houses many great artifacts. This tour is ideal for people wanting to move at their own pace or are looking for a cave experience without much time commitment. This tour is the self-guided version of the guided Mammoth Passage Tour.
.05 hours, .75 miles, 130 stairs and easy.
Youth under the age of 16 years, must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.

Surface Activities - Free of Charge - No reservations required.

Warren County Garden Club - Wildflower Exhibit 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

"Let's Go Birding!" - 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Join volunteer photographer/naturalist Kevin Burt in the search for the sights and sounds of a diverse variety of bird species around the Visitor Center area. In addition to resident birds, you'll have the opportunity to look and listen for spring migrants as they pass through the park. Some binoculars will be available for checkout.

Meets at the back porch of the Visitor Center.

Cedar Sink Hike - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Join volunteer naturalist Steve Kistler on a hike through one of the most decorated areas of Mammoth Cave National Park. Learn ways to identify common wildflowers, peak season, hot spots in the park, and traditional uses of various species. Steve is a former Mammoth Cave National Park employee and has outstanding experience in the trail systems of the park and knowledge of wildflowers and Southeastern United States.

Meets at Cedar Sink Trailhead. (2 hours, 2.0 miles/3.2 kilometers)
Moderate difficulty.

Ridgetop to River Bottom Hike - 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Join Brice Leech, Mammoth Cave scientist, on a nature hike for Wildflower Day. This hike will focus on seasonal native wildflowers and invasive species. Experiece a beautiful array of springtime flowers that are in bloom along the ridges of Green River.
This hike will start on a portion of the Heritage Trail, a flat and level surface that is accessible, for approximately 0.25 miles. You will then reach Sunset Point and go down a switchback trail with some steps for approximately 0.3 miles, making your way to the River Styx Spring. you will then go up the gravel River Styx Spring Trail for 0.4 miles until you reach the Historic Entrance.

Meets at the back porch of the Visitor Center (1.5 hours, 1 mile/1.6 kilometers)
Moderate difficulty.

River Styx Trail Hike - 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Join local naturalist Steve Kistler on a hike down the hill to the Green River, admiring the many native wildflowers currently in bloom, along with ferns, trees, and bushes. Once at the river, the group will come back up the Green River Bluffs and Dixon Cave Trails back to the visitor center. Participants will be walking a Two-mile loop, with an elevation change of approximately 300 feet.

2 hours, 2 miles/3.2 kilometers
Moderate to Strenuous difficulty

Ridge to River Photography Hike - 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Join volunteer and photographer, Kevin Burt, on a nature hike for Wildflower Day. This hike will focus on seasonal native wildflowers and wildlife. Experience wildlife native to the park, along with a beautiful array of springtime flowers that are in bloom along the ridges of the Green River. This hike will start on a portion of the Heritage Trail, a flat and level surface that is accessible, for approximately 0.25 miles (0.4 km). You will then reach Sunset Point and go down a switchback trail with some steps for approximately 0.3 miles (0.48 km), making your way to the River Styx Spring. You will then go up the gravel River Styx Spring Trail for 0.4 miles (0.64 km) until you reach the Historic Entrance.

Recommended items to bring, but not required: Camera, cell phones to DSLR (tripods optional).
Meets at the back porch of the visitor center.
2 hours, 1 mile/1.6 km
Moderate Difficulty -
This trail includes steep uphill and downhill climbs, and approximately 100 stairs.

Porch Talk - 9:15 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

Join a Park Ranger and dive into topics like - traditional and medicinal uses of wildflowers, native/non-native and invasive plant species, tips and tricks to catch peak season, best trails, and easy tools to help identify wildflowers.

This program will meet on the back porch of the visitor Center. (15 minutes) ♿

Evening Program - 7:00 p.m.

Since the dawn of time people have looked to the skies for navigation, revelation, and inspiration. Join Mammoth Cave Park Ranger Aaron Quicksall as he shares stories of the night sky from around the world and the importance of preserving the natural viewscape. Followed by a short walk to the field adjacent to the Amphitheater for a short constellation walk.

Meets at the Amphitheater. ♿

JR Ranger Activities

Wildflower Kids Crafts - 9:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Join the Rangers in creating a fun and easy craft, creating your own wildflower that will never stop blooming and bringing in the colors of spring! All ages are welcome, and no materials or prior skill is required. Our Rangers have experience leading art projects and activities with youth and engaging them to create connections to the natural world around them!

This activity meets on the back porch of the Visitor Center (0.5 hour) ♿

JR Ranger Activities - 11:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m.

No matter what age you are, you are invited to explore, learn, and protect on National Junior Ranger Day. You can participate in the Junior Ranger program year-round and join this one-day celebration that is part of the annual National Park Week.

This activity meets on the back porch of the Visitor Center (0.5 hour) ♿

 

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Last updated: April 21, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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

Phone:

270 758-2180

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