If you’ve got a raging case of cabin fever, calm it with a weekend camping trip to Mammoth Cave National Park.

Mammoth Cave has several campgrounds from which to choose including the Mammoth Cave Campground, the Maple Springs Group Campground, the Houchins Ferry Campground and Homestead Backcountry Campground.

“The campgrounds are in superb condition and make for a comfortable stay,” Patrick Reed, the park’s new superintendent, said.

All backcountry campsites are open year-round, as well as the Houchins Ferry Campground. The Mammoth Cave and Maple Springs campgrounds open March 1 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis during the month of March, and by reservation after April 1.

Reservations can be made up to five months in advance by calling (800) 967-2283, or online at reservations.nps.gov.

Several improvements have been made in recent years to make a stay at any of the park’s campgrounds more enjoyable.

“Backcountry campsites received new fire grates, and the Homestead backcountry site was created to replace Waterfall, a favorite campsite that had been loved to death,” Vickie Carson, public information officer, said. “Buddy campsites were initiated at Mammoth Cave Campground, allowing 16 people to share two connecting sites.”

The Houchins Ferry Campground is primitive and features 12 sites. The Mammoth Cave Campground has 109 sites, while the Maple Springs Group has seven sites, four of which accommodate campers with horses, Carson said.

Two sites at the Mammoth Cave Campground have full water, electric and sewer hookups.

“These were installed for long-term volunteers, but we rent them out when they are not in use by volunteers,” she said.

Besides camping there are shelters available for picnics.

“Two of the three shelters in the picnic area may be reserved; one is open and one is enclosed,” Reed said. “I invite everyone to come out and have some fun in the park.”

One of the park’s open shelters can be rented for $50 per day, while the enclosed shelter rents for $75 per day.

Visitors can call the National Park Reservation Service, which is the same agency used to reserve cave tickets and campground sites, at (800) 967-2283, Carson said.

Camping fees range from $12 to $30. To rent a spot at the Houchins Ferry Campground, visitors must pay $12 ($6 if they have a Golden Age Passport); $17 at Mammoth Cave Campground ($8.50 with the Golden Age Passport); and $30 at the Maple Springs Group.

Another thing to do to combat cabin fever is to take a ride across the ferries located within the park.

Houchins Ferry operates daily from 10:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. March through November.


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