One of my favorite memories from childhood was our fifth-grade field trip to Mammoth Caves. I distinctly remember being in one of the caverns, listening to the guide tell us about the history of the caves, and thinking about how cold it was. As I grew up, we did lots of horseback riding through the Mammoth Cave area. It was always beautiful. We still love camping and hiking in the area, but I will admit—I don't enjoy hiking alone. As a single woman with a child on the trail in the middle of the woods, I often worry about potential risks.

I prefer to hike with others. When I saw that Mammoth Cave will be offering weekly free hikes, I was really excited.

Hart County naturalist Steve Kistler will be leading the hikes every Monday and Thursday from March 18 to April 29. The Bird Hikes begin at 8:30 am and the Wildflower Hikes begin at 11:15 am. They leave from the park visitor center. Each hike generally lasts about 2 hours. They are free, and everyone is welcome to join. The bird hikes are not a good match for very young children, Steve cautions, as they don't have the skills to use binoculars. Steve has several pairs of binoculars to loan, but if you have a pair, please bring them.
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The Best Wildflower Trails in Mammoth Cave State Park

Now, if you can't make it down on a Monday or a Thursday, you can always hike on a weekend - they just won't be guided. They have put together a list of the best wildflower hikes in the park. Here's a more comprehensive guide to the wildflower trails as well as a list of all the trails of Hart Co. . 
  • Cedar Sink Trail
  • River Styx Trail to Green River Bluffs Trail
  • The Echo River Spring Trail
  • The Boardwalk Trail around Sloan's Crossing Pond
  • Turnhole Bend Nature Trail
  • Temple Hill Trailhead down to First Creek Lake

And if you are looking for a guide to the birds of Mammoth Cave State Park, you can find that here.

Beautiful Photos from Popular Kentucky and Indiana Hiking Trails

From climbing rocks to lush green forests and rushing waterfalls, enjoy incredible photos from hiking trails in Kentucky and Indiana.

Gallery Credit: Mary-Katherine Maddox

Fulfill Your 'Yellowstone' Fantasies at The Double J Riding Stables & Horseman's Campground in Western KY

The Double J Riding Stables & Horseman's Campground is situated off the Northeastern corner of Mammoth Cave National Park in Western Kentucky. What drew me to the campground is that they offer horse-friendly campsites for those who have their own horses and also guided horseback trail rides for those who don't!

Our family LOVES horses but we currently don't have a horse for everyone in the family so this would be a perfect solution to get everyone the chance to play cowboy and live out all their Yellowstone fantasies!

Gallery Credit: ASHLEY SOLLARS

Southern Indiana Photographer Captures Hoosier Birds

Southern Indiana Photographer, Ron Harper, captures photographs of native birds that are both stunning and almost magical. His photographs showcase the natural beauty of the birds in our neck of the woods. From action shots in midflight to beautiful portraits, these photos will give you a new appreciation for the feathered wildlife in Indiana.

Gallery Credit: Melissa Nelson

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