Explorers Discover 8 More Miles of Caves at Mammoth Cave National Park, a Short Drive from Cincinnati

The discovery brings the number of known miles of passages in the southern Kentucky landmark to 420.

Sep 14, 2021 at 12:05 pm
click to enlarge Mammoth Cave National Park - Photo: facebook.com/mammothcavenps
Photo: facebook.com/mammothcavenps
Mammoth Cave National Park

Just a short road trip away from Cincinnati, Mammoth Cave National Park recently announced the discovery of eight more miles of caves within what is already the largest cave system in the world. 

Park officials said in a statement on Facebook that the discovery brings the number of known miles of passages in the southern Kentucky landmark to 420.\

The discovery was made, officials said, by mapping and exploration by the Cave Research Foundation.

According to the National Park Service, volunteers from the Cave Research Foundation come to the park every year to map newly discovered passages

Mapping caves can be difficult, the NPS says, because openings can easily hide in the dark, under piles of rock and behind narrow crevices. The team says it uses compasses to measure direction, laser ranger finders to measure distance and an instrument called an inclinometer to measure slope. 

Although the work may be treacherous at times, the NPS says mapping cave systems allows officials to see what parts of a cave might be vulnerable to a highway chemical spill or where park trail improvement plans should be cautious due to historic artifacts.

Mammoth Cave National Park is a three-hour drive south of Cincinnati and offers tours of the caves, hikes, canoeing on the Green River, horseback riding and camping. Find more information on the National Park Service website.

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