Some more miles of hiking and biking trails are coming to the national park system on December 8, when Mammoth Cave National Park dedicates the "Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike and Hike Trail."
Part of the 9-mile-long trail opened back in September, but the final miles will be dedicated and open to the public on December 8 at 10 a.m. during an informal ceremony outside the Mammoth Cave Hotel.
“We want to celebrate and publicly thank those who worked on the trail or provided funding for it,” says Superintendent Patrick Reed. “Our friends at National Park Concessions, Inc., donated $745,000. Volunteers put their sweat equity into it. Our park workers constructed the final, and very difficult, link across Doyel Valley. We are grateful to them all.”
Participants are encouraged to bring their bicycles or hiking boots to try out on the new trail following the ceremony.
The trail in total is nine miles within the park, connecting to the one-mile Park City bike trail, and terminating at historic Bell’s Tavern. It is designed with several entry points so that hikers and bikers may choose to cover the entire length, or opt for shorter segments.
NPCI contributed about 55 percent of the funding needed to build the trail, which runs along an old railroad bed, and the Park Service contributed the remaining 45 percent. Park City officials obtained a federal grant to pay for their mile-long spur trail.
“We in Park City would like to thank everyone who has helped with the trail, especially Park City resident Charles Hogan,” says Park City Mayor David Lyonsy. “Charles was instrumental in the funding and design of the Park City Hike and Bike Trail. We also want to acknowledge District Three of the Kentucky Department of Transportation and the National Park Service for making the trail connection with Mammoth Cave National Park possible.”
The trail follows the remaining portions of the old berm of the Mammoth Cave Railroad, from Park City to Sloan’s Crossing, across Doyel Valley to the park headquarters area near the Mammoth Cave Hotel. It is constructed of dense-grade gravel, averages eight feet wide, and is designed for family use.