EV Staff Report:
Mammoth Cave National Park is celebrating the 103rd birthday of the National Park Service (NPS) by offering a free Discovery Cave Tour from 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday, August 25. The birthday marks the day in 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Park Service Act to consolidate management of America’s federal parklands under one agency.
When it was first established, the NPS was responsible for managing 35 national parks and monuments which were mostly located on the federal lands of the West. Now the National Park System comprises of 418 sites, including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. These sites can be found in 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands.
The free Discovery cave tour is a self-guided tour which runs approximately ¾-mile through one of Mammoth Cave’s largest rooms, the Rotunda, and explores the history and geologic origins of the Mammoth Cave system. Visitors must pick up their tickets in the park’s visitor center before starting the tour at the Historic Entrance. Tour participants are required to walk down and up a steep hill as well as navigate 160 steps along the tour.