We followed the course of water from ridge top to river bottom and witnessed the persistence and power required to create geologic marvel. We experienced "Fat Man's Misery"; a trail in the cave that was narrow, low, crooked and dark.
With more than 367 miles of cave passageways, Mammoth Cave ranks as the longest known cave in the world. Mammoth Cave National Park was established in 1941. There are 14 tours available. We took the River Styx Cave tour. It traced the stages of cave development from solid layers of limestone to formation of caves. Limestone underlies the Mammoth Caves. As water infiltrates the soil, it picks up small amounts of carbon dioxide gas. Carbon dioxide reacts with the water to form a weak carbonic acid, making the groundwater mildly acidic. Like most caves, Mammoth Cave was formed by the slow dissolution of limestone by groundwater.