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Backcountry Repairs, Cleanup Scheduled For Mammoth Cave National Park


Damage from last winter's ice storms will be cleaned up from Mammoth Cave National Park's backcountry in the weeks to come. NPS photo.

There will be quite a bit of activity in the backcountry of Mammoth Cave National Park during the next month as crews clean up from storms and make repairs to trails and bridges.

Trails will remain open, with some temporary, minor detours.

“In the next weeks, backcountry hikers and horse users will see our maintenance staff and volunteers doing extensive work on First Creek Trail,” says Superintendent Patrick Reed. “This is work in our cyclic maintenance schedule, and we a fortunate that is comes on the heels of two destructive storms, the ice storm January and a wind storm in April.”

The bridge near First Creek Lake, which has been in disrepair for several years, will be replaced so that it will accommodate horses and hikers again. The four-week project begins today, May 26. Materials will be transported to the worksite by river. Visitors will be asked to use the existing trail east of the lake during construction. Campsites will remain open.

In later months, two boardwalks will be installed along the Good Spring trail to span perpetually damp areas. The park has contracted with the Student Conservation Association to supply an eight-person volunteer crew during June. In three weeks, they will traverse the entire length of the seven-mile trail, trimming trees, repairing trail tread, and installing water bars.


I am glad to hear this. I love Mammoth Cave NP and bad storms do devastate trails and bridges.
I recall that at Great Falls NP in Va that a bridgw was wiped away in 1972 and never rebuilt until 30 years later.

Rebuilding infracstructure is expensive and I rather NPS focus on these items.

We just got back from Mammoth Cave and while we saw trees down, it wasn't as bad as we expected with the photos we had seen. No trails we hiked on were closed or rerouted...though we didn't get much into the backcountry. Good to see that they are able to not only clean up after the storms but to add new features.

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