Green River: Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave ferry on the Green River

When I was a child my family would travel

Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born

And there’s a backwards old town that’s often remembered

So many times that my memories are worn.

The Green River runs 384 miles through Kentucky, including through Mammoth Cave National Park, until it meets the Ohio River.

Green River

Though named for Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, it is the karst landscape and limestone from the cave regions that contributes to the river’s green hue.

The River Styx

The River Styx is an underground River that flows through the cave. It exits the cave and flows a few hundred yards to the Green River.

The River Styx joins the Green River
The area between the River Styx and the Green is flood prone.
Limestone and hills that are distinctive of the cave region.
Over looking the Green River. It appears brown because of recent heavy rains. Our fall foliage has not yet started to appear.
Random caves happen.
In cave region, steams flow underground or seemingly seem appear on the surface. This is water emerging from underground.

When I die let my ashes float down the Green River

Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam

I’ll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin’

Just five miles away from wherever I am.

Lyrics from Paradise by John Prine

This post was created for Walktober. To join in the fun, visit

25 thoughts on “Green River: Mammoth Cave National Park

  1. shoreacres says:

    That ferry sure did stir memories. I think I mentioned to you that when our family took vacation in western Kentucky, there was a ferry like that where we crossed. The combination of water, sky, and rock in the photo just above Jolene looks like jewels.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Looks like a great place for a Walktober outing, Sarah. With all those caves, I bet it is great habitat for bats and black bears. I loved the short ferry crossing, you don’t see those much these days. Must be tricky when there is flooding, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah Davis says:

      Flooding closes the ferry, so folks drive around. The Park Service keeps the ferry because it harkens back to the days when it connected small communities in the area. This is a fairly new park as the land purchases began in the late 1930’s. My family moved 3 times as the park expanded.

      Not as many bats as we used to see and the black bear were hunted out long ago.


  3. Robin says:

    Thank you so much for joining us, Sarah. I really enjoyed this. I put on John Prine’s song to listen to as I followed along. 🙂 I’ve been to Mammoth Cave National Park, long ago. So long ago, in fact, that I barely remember it. We have small ferries in common. They still have two here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne Fraser says:

    I love your photos. In Europe, we have the green river Inn (Innsbruck in Austria, which flows into the blue Danube and out into the black sea, It is the same muddy water all the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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