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Mammoth Cave - World's Longest Cave

The park's 52,835 acres (21,382 ha) are located primarily in Edmonson County, Kentucky, with small areas extending eastward into Hart County and Barren County. It is centered around the Green River, with a tributary, the Nolin River, feeding into the Green just inside the park. With a confirmed 365 miles of passageways it is by far the world's longest known cave system, being well over twice as long as the second longest cave system, which is South Dakota's Jewel Cave with 145 miles of passageways. Mammoth Cave developed in thick Mississippian-aged limestone strata capped by a layer of sandstone, making the system remarkably stable. It is known to include more than 360 miles (580 km) of passageway; new discoveries and connections add several miles to this figure each year. Mammoth Cave National Park was established to preserve the cave system.

The National Park Service offers several cave tours to visitors. Many of the most famous features of the cave, such as Grand Avenue, Frozen Niagara, and Fat Man's Misery, can be seen on lighted tours ranging from one to six hours in length. Two tours, lit only by visitor-carried paraffin lamps, are popular alternatives to the electric-lit routes. Several "wild" tours venture away from the developed parts of the cave into muddy crawls and dusty tunnels.




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