The majesty of the great Earth Goddess Gaia is not only witnessed in her creations above ground but also beneath. Caves have been the home of sacred crystal creation, the spirits of the Fae and allegedly the domain of the Tuatha (gods, goddesses) according to Celtic mythology. For centuries princes and paupers would go to the underworld to communicate with Apollo relying upon the Oracle of Delphi, high priestess Pythia as medium. The Aztecs and Mayans built temples atop caves with running water in them acknowledging their sacredness. Would you believe that the largest cave on the entire planet is located right in our own backyard, at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky?
If visiting this sacred place is calling to you, come and explore it in the company of kindred spirits from New Earth Nashville! Your co-hosts for the day are New Earth Almanac contributing writer, Richard Dorn and Kirem Marnett, Editorial Director.
With our final destination about two hours away, we will kick off the caravan to the park at the Cracker Barrel in Goodlettsville (235 Long Hollow Pike) at 12noon and meet there for lunch. Over lunch we'll have a chance to get to know each other and assign vehicles for anyone who would like to carpool the rest of the way. The Caravan will leave to the park PROMPTLY at 1:15pm. (If you wish to meet up JUST for the Caravan, arrive at the Cracker Barrel parking lot no later than 1pm).
The Caravan will proceed to Mammoth Caves National Park, a 1hr 15 minute drive from Goodlettsville. The River Styx Tour assembles at 3pm. If we arrive early, we will stop at the Visitor Center before proceeding to the trailhead.
Due to high demand and the fact this tour often sells out, tickets were purchased for our group in advance. Note that due to the pre-purchasing of tickets, there can be no refunds.
Cost: Cave tour tickets are $22.
To reserve your spot:
1.) Join or login to New Earth Nashville and RSVP to indicate you are going
2.) Send funds via Venmo @Richard-Dorn-22 or PayPal @RichardDorn.
Mammoth Caves Meetup Timeline
- 12noon: Meet for lunch at 12noon at Cracker Barrel in Goodlettsville (next exit north of Rivergate, 235 Long Hollow Pike)
- 1pm Caravan assembles
- 1:15pm Caravan leaves to the Park
- 3pm Tour gathers at trailhead
- 3:30 Tour begins
- 6pm Tour ends, head back to Goodlettsville/Nashville
What to Wear/Bring
Decent walking shoes (no flip flops, etc.) Note that participants need to be comfortable with changing elevation, heights, tight spaces, mud, etc. Bring a light jacket for temperature changes while in the cave.
River Styx Tour Description
Following along the Historic Tour Route, this tour focuses on the unique geologic and natural history of Mammoth Cave. Including a brief side trip to the underground water level, this tour takes an in-depth look at the millions of years of formation of Mammoth Cave. This tour is ideal for visitors with a high interest in geology.
Please use extra caution when visiting the river level. To access this section of the cave the tour leaves modern tour trail to uneven terrain that may be wet, muddy, and/or slick. The tour route travels next to bodies of water, some of which can be very deep depending on river levels. Viewing of this area will also be conducted with electric lanterns and not the modern lighting system on the rest of the route.
This tour covers the entire Historic Tour route. Limited sections of the Star Chamber, Violet City Lantern, Mammoth Passage and Mammoth Cave Discovery Tours are also seen.
Tour Duration: 2.5 hours
Tour Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)
Total Stairs: Approximately 600, including 155 at Mammoth Dome.
Ages: All ages. Youth under the age of 16 years, must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.
Tickets available for each tour time: 30
Fees: $22 Adults