Looking for a trip that’s both fun and educational for the kids? How about caving for kids in South Central Kentucky at Mammoth Cave Park? Some of their tours have age and size limits for guests, but these restrictions are in place for safety reasons. However, the kids won’t feel left out, because the park offers several caving tour options for kids and families.
Introduction to Caving
If you’ve never been caving, the Introduction to Caving tour is a great first experience. This tour accommodates kids 10 and up, and parents, too, of course. This tool lets families explore together as you hike, climb, and even crawl through parts of Mammoth Cave.
Nature Track for Kids
The Nature Track for Kids program is led by the park rangers. Activities vary from season to season, so check their website for details. No matter when you visit, if your kids take part in this program, they’ll have fun with games and enjoy a sense of discovery.
The Trog Tour is for kids from 8 to 12 years old. This caving for kids opportunity at Mammoth National Park covers 1½ miles and takes about 2½ hours. This popular tour sells out often because it only allows room for 12 kids.
The tour itself starts out with a brief hike through the woods and takes them to the historic entrance of Mammoth Cave where they put on a hard hat and headlamp before venturing into the cave. They’ll get to learn about how animals survive in the dark underworld, and much more as they hike, crawl, and even belly slide!
Before your kids take off on this tour, a heads up. There’s no restroom on the tour so make sure the go before they leave. Parents stay with the kids for the first 30 minutes, and then meet at the return location at the end of the tour.
Junior Ranger Program
Kids can also take part in the Junior Ranger program. Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the information desk at the Visitor Center. Kids take part in ranger-led activities and use their eyes and ears to gather all the information they’ll need to know to earn their Junior Ranger badge.
What to Wear
Make sure you bring a jacket or sweater when you plan your caving trip because temperatures in Mammoth Cave run cool; imagine a late fall day. Also wear walking shoes. Tours like The Wild Cave Tour, the Introduction to Caving, and the Trog Tour each have special clothing requirements; visit their website for details so you’re prepared.
Along with caving, Mammoth Cave National Park also offers 70 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, fishing and canoeing in the Green River. Plan to bring a picnic lunch or even camp for the night.