It may be difficult to think of caves as spacious and grand, but these are no ordinary caves. Humans first discovered this complex limestone labyrinth some 4,000 years ago beneath the Green River Valley of Edmonson County, Kentucky. To this day, explorers have yet to find an end to it, despite mapping more than 400 miles of passageways. It is by far the longest such system on Earth, featuring the richest known habitat for cave wildlife in the world.
Denizens of Darkness
Mammoth Cave is home to a variety of animals known as troglobites — wildlife species that are specially adapted to live in a cave environment. These residents include eyeless fish, cave salamanders and an endangered albino cave shrimp.
I had visited five national parks before I visited Mammoth Cave, including the Grand Canyon, but it was at Mammoth Cave that I truly fell in love with national parks. You see, in none of my five previous park visits had I really understood that I was in a national…