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Green River/Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky - Weekend Trip Report

by  kebs

A self-supported trip created by kebs

Trip Overview

We went down to Mammoth Cave National Park and took a cave tour the first day.

We camped in the park campsite the first evening for an OK price, 15 bucks I think. On the second morning we met a friend at Dennison Ferry on the Northeast end of the park. We left my car at Houchins Ferry about 20 river miles away.

The first 5 miles or so of river are faster than the last section. There are many islands and lots of wood in the water. We moved along quite quickly.

The river valley is awesome, with bluffs coming up hundreds of feet on either side. We saw dozens of turkeys, deer, osprey. We even saw a bobcat and got a picture of it.

We camped just down from the turnhole bend. Camps are a bit tricky as the banks rise quickly 8 feet or so. We had a nice flat spot with plenty of down wood for a small fire. You will need a free back country permit to camp along the river. It was a cool evening down in the valley but was nice for sleeping. We caught a few bass that evening and had a nice dinner.

The next day we hit the water at about 9 AM and had an easy paddle the last few miles. We saw a total of 8 people on the river the entire trip, and 7 of them were at the green river ferry half way down the river.

The trip could be done in one long day of paddling, but it was nice to camp on the river and fish.

We never had to portage any of the runs, nor did we encounter any tricky sections of fast water. The last half of the trip was rather lake like and the current was very slow.


Campsite at Dennison Ferry is now closed. The camp at the state park is a nice one. A hotel is also located there.
Cave City is 10 minutes from the cave and has plenty of places to stay.


Canoe: Wenonah Echo-tuffweave-16.5ft
Paddles: Bending Branch straight shaft
Tent: Kelty
Car: Subaru Forester


Back country permit for camping on the river can be picked up from the rangers at the main bulding.


Mammoth Cave Park is West of I-65, on SR 70.


I picked up a map by Nat. Geo. at the bookstore.

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location