Mammoth Cave Visitor Trails

Mammoth Cave, KY

More than 440,000 visitors explore Mammoth Cave National Park each year—a unique cave environment and the longest system of cave trails in the world. Over time, many of the existing trails have deteriorated resulting in issues regarding safety, maintenance, accessibility, and protection of the caves natural and cultural resources. VHB has worked with the National Park Service (NPS) at Mammoth Cave National Park since 2009 and serves as the lead consultant for multiple trail improvements.

The design and reconstruction of the Mammoth Cave Trails requires adaptable solutions to the challenges found in the cave and along the cave trails and must consider and protect the archaeological and paleontological resources below the existing trails.

Like VHB, the NPS is committed to providing an inclusive and equitable experience for every park visitor, resulting in projects that promote sustainability, resiliency, and equity. For example, VHB successfully designed the Echo River Springs Trail, a fully accessible trail offering an engaging trail experience for a variety of visitors. With an eight-foot-wide paved path through lush forest, users can enjoy scenic views at various outlooks, fully accessible picnic tables, interpretive displays, and audio/visual aids. Overlook points along the trail, including a newly installed bridge, were designed so that railings don’t obstruct views for those using a wheelchair or mobility chair. This is just one of many projects at the park where VHB has partnered with the NPS on the design of trails to be inclusive of diverse groups.

A trail leads down inside Mammoth Caves. A man walks up a trail inside Mammoth Caves Four men pose inside Mammoth Caves.


  • National Park Service


  • Archaeology

  • Bikeway and Pedestrian Planning & Design

  • Low Impact Design Development

  • Parking Studies Design

  • Sustainability-Resiliency-Social Equity

VHB + Equity in the Built Environment