Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
Mammoth Cave National Park will kick off the annual National Park Week by celebrating National Junior Ranger Day and offering the Discovery Tour for free on Saturday, April 20.
National Park Week is an annual celebration for people to discover and enjoy our country’s remarkable network of natural, cultural, and recreational sites. Mammoth Cave National Park is one of over 400 individual park units managed by the National Park Service and is proud to be a destination where visitors can learn, explore, and connect with the country’s rich natural and cultural heritage.
National Junior Ranger Day
National Junior Ranger Day is an opportunity to introduce and connect young people and their families to Mammoth Cave’s natural and cultural resources and develop essential stewardship practices. The Junior Ranger program is more than just following activities in a booklet, it is about engaging with visitors of all ages so they can create experiences and memories that will be carried with them for their entire lives. Last year, over 500 people participated in National Junior Ranger Day events held at Mammoth Cave National Park.
National Junior Ranger Day activities will begin at 9 am in the picnic area. Multiple programs will be presented throughout the day by Park Rangers and activities will include guided hikes and hands on learning opportunities that focus on geology, biology and the vast human history of Mammoth Cave. Junior Ranger Adventure Books are available for free at the park’s visitor center, but are not a requirement to participate in Junior Ranger Day activities.
For a complete schedule of Junior Ranger Day activities and meeting locations, visit nps.gov/maca/planyourvisit/calendar.htm.
Free Discovery Tour for National Park Week
The National Park Service offers the first day of National Park Week as a fee free day to encourage everyone to get out and visit a park. Mammoth Cave will provide a free self-guided Discovery Tour between 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Cave tour participants must pick up a ticket in the visitor center before going on the tour.
The ¾-mile tour route requires a walk down and up a steep path to the Historic Entrance and navigating 160 steps. Participants will pass through the Rotunda, one of the largest rooms within the cave, explore a vast canyon passageway, and view a 19th-century saltpeter mining operation.
For more information on National Park Week visit nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/national-park-week.htm.