If you are looking for something cushy, this is not the campground for you. I happen to love this type of camping, so I'm giving it 5 stars. Here's what to know:
No campsite water or electric
The bathrooms are just that, bathrooms.
Showers are located at the general store which is walkable but it's a small trek.
Bring quarters, ones and/or five dollar bills for the shower.
Bring something to carry your water to your campsite for dishes and whatnot. There is a water pump at the bathroom areas. Easy walking access to visitors center. The firewood at the store is BioWood. Good for cooking, burns hot and long. Worth the price. Campsite 20 had a ton of shade trees which helped when it rained but it's in the back and beside a main road.
In May, before Memorial Day, there are no crowds. Bonus! We would stay again if in the area.
We have camped twice at this campground. Here's what you should know about our experiences. We tent camped at an improved site, so most RV knowledge on my part is limited. I do know that it is a one lane, paved road coming in (Lincoln School Rd). There is a sign telling you to call before you start down the road with your RV so they can make sure no one else is going to block you. If you are in a vehicle, you do not need to call. When you arrive, most likely, Dave or Rocky (the owners) will greet you with a big smile and a howdy! The horse barn is the first building you will see on your left. You continue on your way and you will see the owners house and then you will see a small shed and a gate arm to the entrance of the campground. There is a call box if no one greeted you on your way in. Someone will either come and collect your payment or they will give you the box code and meet you at your site. All the improved campsites are easily accessed and easy to find. Each improved site has a light post with electric,water, picnic table and fire ring. All the sites are flat and perfect for a tent or RV. The sites are surrounded by a gravel loop, so you can pull straight in and when you leave, pull straight out. The sites are not shaded but the entire property is surrounded by trees of Mammoth Cave National Park. The restrooms/showers are just steps away and easily accessed. All the times we have stayed, the restrooms were well maintained and clean. There is a covered pavilion with seating just outside the restrooms. A perfect place to gather for shade or to get out of the rain. Connected to the pavilion is a room with a tv and is typically used for entertaining. Double J does offer party packages for weddings, parties and meetings. Ice and firewood are available for purchase. There is not a store on sight, but there is a little country store right down the road where you can get gas and snacks. You can bring your own horses and they can stay in the field overnight or in a covered stall with shavings. All the stalls were dry when we were there during a very heavy rainfall. If you don't have your own horse, they have the BEST horses for trail rides! The guide will take you directly into Mammoth Cave National Park. They are the only guided horse trails that authorized to go into the National Park. At only $25 for an hour ride and $35 for a 2 hour ride, it's less expensive than a lot of other places I have been. They also have a 4 hour trail ride available. Since Mammoth Cave National Park is just steps away, you can also easily go hiking without having to drive to a trail head. There is a playground for younger kids to play on. While we were there the owners were fundraising so they could improve it further. Overall, I would and have recommended this place to all my friends who love camping and horses. This campground is maintained by people who love it and it shows! Check their website for weekend events like Derby, ladies getaways, kids day camps and more! You should call in advance for reservations as most of their events book fast and sell out!
Loved staying at the mammoth cave state park last weekend. April 26th-28th 2019.
No reservations are needed until May 1st. It was Walk up First come first serve from March through May. The last weekend of April was perfect and was not over crowded but had a good amount of visitors. We had perfect weather as well. The camp grounds are clean and nice looking , bathrooms also very clean and have normal toilets, laundry room had new washers and dryers and very roomy & clean with attached bathrooms & showers for men & women. The camp store was nicely set up and had plenty of foods and stuff Incase you forgot anything. However they do not sell real fire wood. They do sell compressed fire bricks. That Looks-like compressed sawdust bricks. So if you want real fire wood you have to go off trail and find it. Recommend and saw to cut it up but there was plenty of dead branches to be found through out the park and you are allowed to pick it up and burn it. The cave tours are fun and educational however if you lack fitness some of them will test your limits. So know your limits before booking. Highly recommend buying your tickets before you arrive as they fill up super fast and they offer more tours during the peak season than they do in spring.
The lodge is nice has 2 restaurants one is sit down one is fast food snacks like setting. There are 5 gift shops in all between the camp store has 1 the lodge has 2 and the visitors center has 2. It’s worth the trip if your in to caving and hiking. Unfortunately there is lack of access to the river unless you go backwoods hiking/camping But all in all it’s a fun time!
Very clean & quiet! The wildlife are very friendly!
I’m not a big fan of theme park campgrounds, but our granddaughter loved this one. We spent a weekend here while visiting Mammoth Cave. The site we got was full sun, so it was hot. But, there are some shade sites. Most are level and have water and electric and sewer. There was lots for a little girl to do, including a water slide. Campground store was well stocked, the bathroom/shower was clean and nice.
Only stayed here for one night, but the campsite had a concrete table and a nice fire pit area! We stayed at site 105 per the ranger’s recommendation. It was set right on the edge of a very large wooded area which was fun to explore due to the lack of underbrush. Nice big visitor center and a good sized camp store. Also wonderfully close to the amazing Dinosaur World!!
Very quiet. Two fenced dog runs that were slightly overgrown when we first arrived but were cut when the rain allowed. Paved roads throughout but very few paved sights. WIFI and cell service very limited would advise a antenna for long term. Office personnel were extremely helpful and understanding. I had truck problems and it extended our stay so I just had to move trailer to different site. Ft Knox is just a few miles away.
Overall this is a great FamCamp. Will definitely stay again.
Enjoyed my time staying at Tailwater in Kentucky. It was about an 8hr drive from where I live, so we decided to stay here for a long weekend with friends. We ended up renting out 2 campsite spots to fit 8 of us and luckily we were able to get a spot right next to each other. We had 2 huge 6 person tents, so 4 stayed in one and 4 in the either. We fit comfortably! Thankfully the campsite were fairly large to fit our cars and 2 big tents. The attendants working in the front were super nice and helpful. They helped us find our spots, and then gave us recommendations on where to hike in the mornings. Because we came in the summer, it was pretty busy. The Barren River is right next to the campground and makes for a beautiful day to head down to the river and cool off. The campground is fairly large- I believe it has close to 50 spots. Campground was easy to find, and the signage for the campground was great. Cost was $20 a night per site, so for us it was $40 sense we had 2 sites but we split it 8 ways so it was super cheap. We brought tons of food, and snacks, so at night we just hung around each other- some in hammocks or in chairs and just talked. The hiking was really great- super awesome views. The trails were in such great condition!! Would definitely come back.
Like most, we were here to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. We stayed on the Maple Springs side of the Green River to be closer to the mountain bike trails and are glad we did. The trails were great for both of us and we could ride straight from the campground. If you are in a RV note that you can't go across the ferry with your rig!!! You have to go around the park to access this campground. We are so glad we realized that ahead of time and didn't have to back track. The campground was quiet and we had it completely to ourselves one night. The campground had pit toilets but no shower. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we almost stayed an additional night! If you plan to visit the cave, be sure to book your tour ahead of time. The tours were all sold out when we got there!
Green River is located in Mammoth Cave National Forest near Brownsville, Ky off I65.
This NF is within 30 minutes of my residence and I visit often. You can backcountry camp but first you have to check in at the main area. Then you are pretty free to camp where you want within the guidelines. There are some sites already out there , if you choose to make your own follow “bug protocols”! I messed up and got to suffer through chiggers for a week after our adventure, not fun.
Mammoth offers the cave and Green River of course but many people don’t realize how extensive and unique the hiking areas are. Get a good map and pack your bag you can hike, bike or horseback to several secluded areas that offer a backcountry feel, good for practicing for longer duration hikes. Once you cross the Green River by ferry you are in a whole other world that is not crowded with tourists (usually;)
We set up in chigger central and explored the area which had several small rivulets and a nice little pond that reminded me of some horror movie or other (lol) I saw a family of four and a couple hiking through but otherwise the area was mine.
Let me just say, it is nice to find a campground that not only welcomes tent campers but seems to be designed for them exclusively. This campground is primarily a tent site. There are a handful of RV sites, but over 3/4 of the camp is set up for tents only which makes for a better overall outdoor feel without the humming of generators, the height of large RVs blocking your tree views and the overall feeling the you are squished in next to someone.
The closest campground to the Visitor Center, this campground has narrow roads through camp, flushing toilets and hot showers. Preparing for tent campers, the amenities are vast enough to not feel like you are stuck waiting for a shower because they have not properly accommodated you. It is a great feeling to have.
Seasonally there is a small camp store which offers ice and firewood along with some basic items. I even picked up an ice cream here on a hot evening.
My site was $20 and was well shaded, almost nestled into the trees.I was in site 46 which was on the bend and seemed a bit closer to other campers, yet I still had plenty of space for my activities as a solo camper. Had I have been in a larger group or even not camping as a single I might have opted for a site a bit further around the loop.
If you are a senior and have an access pass you can present this when booking and get 1/2 off your site.
Look at the campground map in advance, you wlll be happy to have done so when looking for larger sites or sites which offer pull through options.
Mammoth Cave has several camping options depending on what type of camping you enjoy. I decided to check out several of those to get a full understanding of just what all was out there. Amongst these options are permitted backcountry camps which are hike in camps accessed by free permits.
To get one of the permits you must register with a valid ID and the make and model of your vehicle. This keep unattended vehicles from being towed from parking areas. Camps are as close as half a mile from public use camping areas but scatter over a vast area. They are large enough for groups but also accessed by individuals.
I hiked out to the first of the group camps positioned on my map, which was given to me at the Visitor Center when I registered, no one appeared to be there so I checked it out fully and determined it was perfect for what I needed. There were plenty of trees for coverage or for those wanting to set up a hammock. Fire rings are located at each of the sites and they have been very minimally cleared making for a great area to set up a tent or several small tents.
The first camp is not very deep into the backcountry, yet is still very quiet and perfect for someone who wants a little adventure without a full day of hiking just to get to camp. There was a nearby flow of water and you could use a lifestraw or purification tabs for converting this water, however they do recommend you bring your own water to drink.
All in all, of the backcountry camps I have visited this one was one of the better ones. I didn't check out others on the map on this trip because I didn't want to be as deep into the woods where there was even more chance of encountering bears.
- Get your permit earlier in the day - They issue permits up to 15 minutes before close but only issue certain amount per day, best to get your permit early.
- Tie up your food and trash - This area is known for wildlife so you will want to secure your items up high at your camp to not attract animals into your campsite.
We hiked the First Creek Loop Trail at Mammoth Cave National Park and backcountry camped. The campiste itself was okay. There was a fire pit and log to sit on. There were plenty of trees to hang a hammock. There was a water source, but the park ranger didn't really recommend getting and filtering water from it, and once we arrived, we could see why. You would have a difficult time actually getting down to the water as there was no real clearing or way to it. The also was a very thick, green sludge film on top of the water. So we carried in what we would need for our overnight. The campsite was decent size and away from any others, so it was nice an quiet. We did have to take a very short ferry ride in our car to get across the water.
This place was great! Very interesting place to visit. Way unexpected divercity. Subterranean beauty on a grand scale! Very knowledgeable guides with interesting facts and stories. Excellent way to spend a day!
This campground is very clean and the rangers are very effective at keeping the noise down.
This campground was reasonably priced, but lacked electric & water at each campsite. There was a good fire pit with cooking grill, efficient, clean bathrooms, but showers were at camp store, cost money to use, and generally not very nice. There was a laundromat & a post office connected to camp store. It was pretty there, & closest camping to the caves. But we missed the conveniences of electric, water, & nice, free showers!
Booked this campground online and was very happy with our night stay! Be sure to reserve a spot right alongside water! Online booking shows a very easy to view map of different tent sites.
Enjoyed watching sunset here. Wish we had arrived earlier so we could swim!
My family of 6 (me, my wife, and four boys 9yrs and under) camped here for a week. We had a great time. We were a little further from Mammoth cave than we wanted to be, but the campground was fun. It is pretty spread out, so biking with the family was a little challenging. And their bike loop was really pretty, but SUPER bumpy and hilly. Pretty hard for the younger ones. The lake was awesome. We swam at the beach, and in eary september, we had the place to ourselves. Campsites were a but small / crammed (we have a pop-up camper). But overall, we really enjoyed it.
This camp ground is very quiet with super nice people running it. The bathrooms are extremely clean.This campground has a multitude of rules down to men cannot be seen not wearing a shirt, no cursing, no drinking but is a smoke free site. Also, it is housed next to a motorcycle clubhouse which can get loud at night. The tent sites for some reason, are on low ground while the RV sites have the high ground, potentially causing extremely wet tents.
Close to the store, visitor center, and tours. Great location, clean sites, everything we needed. Bathrooms were exceptional!! Best ones we've stayed in!! Would have been nice to have a utility sink to wash dishes, I hated dumping my wash water down those sparkling toilets!! lol