Green River Overnight and Solar Eclipse Paddle, Mammoth Cave National Park, KY; August 18-21
Note: the removal of the dam downstream of Mammoth Cave has changed the river a bit, so some adjustments to the itinerary may be necessary, including not being able to camp on the river. National Park rangers are now enforcing a mandatory wear your PFD rule. So, stay flexible and enjoy the trip. :)
If you have ever wanted to try to camp out of your boat, this trip is for you! One of my favorite places to paddle, the Green River runs right through Mammoth Cave National Park and is a great outdoor resource available to all for hiking, fishing, camping, and especially kayaking or canoeing. Wildlife abounds in the park, and it is not uncommon to see deer, wild turkey, bald eagles, raccoons, beaver, or hear the howls of a coyote pack in the distance. Since this is a National Park, fishing is permitted without a license so feel free to bring your pole! If you don’t have a pole, let me know and I may have an extra one for you to borrow.
I plan on heading down early Friday and plan on camping at the Mammoth Cave National Park campground. The campgrounds are nice and clean; have flushing toilets and pay showers. Please let me know if you would be interested in camping as well, as we can share sites, etc. Cost is $20 per night and up to 8 persons per site. I plan on reserving sites for 3 nights in case of inclement weather or river conditions.
Campground details: http://www.nps.gov/maca/planyourvisit/macacampground.htm
Meeting Point: Mammoth Cave Campground Store
For those who are not camping Friday night, we will meet at the campground store. There is little to no cell phone service in MCNP, so please plan on meeting Saturday at 9:30 am EST (8:30 CST). We will promptly leave at 9:45 am EST to the put-in.
Mammoth Cave National Park map: http://www.nps.gov/maca/planyourvisit/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=69446
Put In: Dennison’s Ferry
We will caravan to the put-in, unload and run our shuttle. Shuttles will have to be figured out at the put-in based on vehicles, number of people, and who is going where. Shuttle time will be a little over an hour total.
Some people don’t like camping and would rather explore on their own and sleep in a bed, I get that. So, for those of you who opt to sleep off the water you can take out at the Green River Ferry. It will be a nice 8 mile paddle for you on Saturday. For those of us sleeping river side, we will continue to paddle down to our target camping spot of Sand Cave Island; located close to Turn Hole Bend. Camp spots are first come, first serve, so I would like to get to our island in the early evening so we can set up, gather wood, and relax for the night. Campers will paddle a total of approx. 12 miles Saturday. I will be bringing a cooking grate and a percolating coffee maker to share; you will need to bring what you would like to cook, eat, mix, etc.
For those camping, I will get our free camping permits Friday. I will need your vehicle’s Make, Model, and plate number, along with emergency contact info. Your vehicle must have this permit displayed if you leave it overnight in the park.
Suggested things to bring for camping:
Although downed wood can be used for firewood, it is always appreciated if you bring along some charcoal in a small ziplock baggie. Other suggested items include: flash light, bug spray, sunscreen, plenty of water, paper plates, paper cups, personal toiletries, tent, a couple of trash bags, sleeping bag, sleeping pad (we usually camp on a gravel bar), change of clothes, a positive attitude, sense of humor and don’t forget to pack food for Sunday. One tip I like to adhere to is to freeze my water bottles instead of bringing ice. They stay frozen longer and you will always have ice cold water to drink.
Here are some other tips:
If you opted to not camp and still want to paddle on Sunday, you can meet us campers on the river. The non-campers will need to run their own shuttle on Sunday. It sounds complicated, but it worked out pretty well last time. Plan to meet on the river no later than 11 am EST, just keep paddling until you see a bunch of happy HCC campers. J
Campers will have an approx. 8 mile paddle on Sunday, with non-campers paddling 12 miles. Take out will be at Houchins Ferry.
Paddlers will be required to sign the HCKC Trip Disclaimer before embarking on our adventure. You can review the trip disclaimer in advance here:
If you have never been to this area of KY, here is a sneak peek of the scenery:
If you have any questions or need any more info, please feel free to contact me (Natalie) at natalieHCCkayak@gmail.com
Please put Mammoth Cave in the subject line when emailing me.
Note: the removal of the dam downstream of Mammoth Cave has changed the river a bit, so some adjustments to the itinerary may be necessary. Stay flexible. :)
Monday Day 3: Aug. 21
Nashville, TN will have totality and it's only 1.5 hours south. We'll head that way Monday morning and put on the Cumberland River reservoir at Rockland Recreation Area and watch the total eclipse on the lake. I'll be staying one more night in MCNP campground so it won't be such a far drive home that day.