Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Mammoth Cave National Park will present ranger led talks, guided walks, and special videos clips focusing on the legacy of African American history at Mammoth Cave in honor of Black History Month.
African Americans have greatly contributed to the tourism, exploration, mapping and development of Mammoth Cave throughout its over 200 year history. As some of the first cave guides and explorers who led visitors through the mysterious cave passages in the early 1800s, the enslaved cave guides played a major role in shaping Mammoth Cave National Park into a renowned tourist destination.
The ranger led talks will take place on Saturday, February 9, 16, and 23 staring at 9:30 am at the park’s visitor center. Rangers will share stories of enslaved African American guides and their contributions to Mammoth Cave.
The ranger led Heritage Trail Walks will depart from the visitor center at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 17. The 1 hour accessible walk will follow the Heritage Trail, overlooking Mammoth Cave’s Historic Entrance, and will terminate at the Old Guide’s Cemetery. Sunday’s walk will be presented by a ranger in Civil War period costume. Each walk will discuss the significant contributions African Americans have made throughout Mammoth Cave’s guiding history.
In addition to the scheduled walks and talks, two video clips featuring stories of the enslaved Mammoth Cave guides will be playing all month long in the visitor center exhibit area. The video clips are provided courtesy of Western Kentucky University’s Public Broadcasting Service and Kentucky Educational Television (KET).
All events are free and open to the public with no reservations needed. For more information about the park or park events, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/maca.