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Monday, March 7, 2016

Campground and Trails at Mammoth Cave National Park

I'm probably the only person staying at Mammoth Cave to hike and not even inquiring about taking a cave tour.  I'm leaving that for if Wayne and I decide to come back this way someday.  After a quick stop in the visitor center I chose two days worth of hiking, starting with the trail system up behind the visitor center.  I pretty much walked everything in the map below over the course of a couple of hours.

Most of it was fairly easy meandering, but there were a few spots that got a little steep and after a winter of couch riding I had to rest a bit

The nice thing about these trails were the occasional views of the Green River.

Mostly it was just about the exercise, but of course I kept my eyes peeled for spring wildflowers, just in case...

It was the only one I saw, but I'll take it!!

Yesterday morning I woke up after a restful night of temps just under 50F and headed to the Big Hollow North trail on the other side of the Green River.  This sign on the road was a little alarming.

Oh, a ferry, that makes a little more sense.

I parked at the research center to cut half a mile each way off my planned trip.  Even with that and the "shortcut" on the loop I still put in about five miles.

The trail was mostly level, and completely uneventful.  Since my main goal for the day was to break my body back in to regular exercise it worked out okay but it wasn't a trail I would revisit.  It looked really good for mountain biking though.

I didn't see any wildlife, not even a squirrel or any birds, and the only water was a tiny stream heading down the hillside.

Daffodils are everywhere in the park though, and their cheerful color was appreciated amid all the brown and gray of winter.

The campsites at the park are pretty nice, but there are no hookups.  The bathrooms are heated and have running water (yay for flushing!) but showers are in a separate building at the camp store and are TEENY TINY PAY SHOWERS that take tokens only and both times I was in the mood for a shower the camp store was closed to I couldn't buy the tokens.  Not so much yay there.  I made due by boiling water in my electric kettle and doing a "birdbath" in the bathroom by my campsite.

Listening to the coyotes after darkness falls?  Two big thumbs up!

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