The state of Kentucky is home to Mammoth Cave National Park, which is visited by over 1.8 million people annually. It was opened on July 1, 1941 and has a total area of 210 km². See a2zdirectory for tourist attractions in Kentucky.
The Mammoth Cave National Park takes its name from the Mammoth Cave, which is located on its area. The 300 kilometer long cave system is one of the largest known of its kind in the world. This is what makes a visit to the park so special. There is mostly forested area around the cave. Its landscape is also crossed by the Green River, which has cut into the limestone up to 90 meters deep. Archaeologists found 4500 year old mummified human bodies. It is therefore believed that the Mammoth Cave also used the cave as a burial site.
Whites first came to the area in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the saltpeter that occurs was mined and processed into gunpowder.
The cave was created by slightly acidic rainwater, which had acted on the rocks for thousands of years. In this way the lime dissolved and channels, shafts and real chambers were created. The entire cave system now has five floors. The stalactite and gypsum crystal formations are particularly beautiful to look at.
The cave can of course be visited. The temperature here is permanently 13 degrees. A trip on the paddle steamer on the Green River is also recommended.
History of the Mammoth Cave National Park
It is assumed that people already knew about the cave in prehistoric times and also used it. Among other things, torches, sandals, ropes, pottery and various objects of art were found. In addition, there were seven naturally mummified human bodies in the cave chambers. The first mummy was found by a miner in the 19th century. At that time he and a few men were mining saltpetre in the caves.
When the saltpetre mining and the demand for the Roshtoff did not favor the Endez, the mummy finds were used to stimulate tourism. All but one mummy were destroyed during transport to other locations. But that wasn’t a problem for Mammoth Cave. Imaginative cave guides painted the stories of mummies and prehistoric times in such a way that tourists couldn’t get enough of them. This marketing of the cave chambers to onlookers came to an end with the establishment of the national park.
Animals in Mammoth Cave National Park
Since the park consists of several floors, there are also animals common to the typical layers of the earth. Cave blind fish, for example, live in Echo Lake, which is located inside the cave. These are animals with no eyesight, which they do not need in the darkness of the cave chambers.
Eyeless crayfish have also been found here. Of course you can also find a large number of worms and flocks of bats here.
In the outdoor area of the Mammoth Cave National Park there are deer, foxes, lots of rabbits, raccoons and skunks. Chipmunks and tree dwellers are also numerous here. Over 200 species of birds have been counted. There are no larger birds here in the park, but the beautiful and bright red cardinal lives here.
Plants in Mammoth Cave National Park
Most of the Mommoth Cave National Park is covered in forest. There are a lot of beech, white hickory, sugar maple and red maple here.
The arable areas previously used by Siedlner were plowed up by the park staff and now it is left to nature what grows here and what does not. This brings back the original character of the region.