The Crystal Cave Trail at Mammoth Cave National Park in Cave City, Kentucky is an easy 2.6 mile out-and-back hike out to Crystal Cave. The trail is an old road that leads to Floyd Collins' house and his cave. While the trail is flat, there are a few different areas that head up and back downhill - especially at the last leg of the trail that leads downhill to the cave.
Finding the cave: Once you reach the Collins' property (a house and restroom building), look for a small trail that sits between the two buildings - this is the trail that leads down to Crystal Cave. When you reach the cave, you can walk down the steps to a large metal door. Entering the cave without a permit is an arrest-able offense and carries a $20,000 fine, so don't try to go inside.
History: Crystal Cave, owned by the Collins family, was discovered in 1917 by Floyd Collins and was opened as an attraction. Since Crystal Cave was near the last on the list of the long gauntlet of cave tours in the area, the cave didn't make much profit. Floyd wanted to turn a profit in his cave tours, so he turned to Sand Cave, which lies on the route before all of the cave tours. He struck a deal with the owner of the cave and went on one expedition into the cave to not return.
Poison Ivy: Most of the surface trails at Mammoth Cave National Park have poison ivy growing off the side of the trail and this trail is no exception.
Dogs are allowed on this trail.
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