MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK News Release
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Contact: Molly Schroer, Molly_Schroer@nps.gov, 270-758-2192
Mammoth Cave National Park Plans Closure of Green River Ferry Service and Roadway for Site Improvements
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., May 14, 2019. – Mammoth Cave National Park’s Green River Ferry service and portions of Green River Ferry Road will be closed to all vehicular traffic from approximately Monday, June 17 to Friday, November 15in order to complete a vehicle ramp extension project. The Green River Ferry area will remain open to paddlers and hikers throughout the construction, but parking and public access will be limited.
The Green River Ferry serves as a river crossing location, river access for canoes and kayaks, boat ramp for fishing boats, and parking area for trail and river users. During periods of low and high water, extended closures of the Green River Ferry create negative impacts which affect local citizens and park staff by presenting safety problems, limiting access to recreational resources, and disrupting frequently used travel routes. The ramp extension project will extend the current vehicle access ramps into the Green River by 30 feet which should allow the ferry boat to operate during periods of low water levels.
“The Green River Ferry is an important service to the local communities that surround Mammoth Cave National Park as well as to the park itself,” said Park Facilities Chief, Steve Kovar. “We realize that this six month closure will create some inconveniences for local residents, park visitors and staff, but we know the long term improvements to the crossing will be worth the wait.”
The Green River Ferry Road will be closed from the north side of the Green River, beginning just south of Maple Springs Campground, to the south side of the river at the entrance of the Green River Ferry parking lot. Parking within the parking lot during the construction will be prohibited. Day use parking will be allowed along the south side of Green River Ferry Road in areas where vehicles can safely pull all the way off the roadway.
The Echo Springs Accessible Trail will remain open to hikers with two accessible parking spaces in the Green River Ferry parking lot remaining open only for visitors with accessibility needs.
A temporary canoe and kayak ramp is being installed at the northeast side of the Green River Ferry parking lot for river access throughout the construction period. Canoes and kayaks may be dropped off or picked up in the parking lot, but long term parking is prohibited.
“We are working with the construction team to keep as much of the Green River Ferry area open to the public as possible, but we want to make sure their work is done as safely and efficiently as possible,” said Park Superintendent Barclay Trimble. “The north side of the park will continue to be open throughout the ferry closure so we invite everyone to enjoy the beautiful drive through the park and our neighboring communities get there. You’ll find many wonderful hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities when you arrive.”
In addition to the vehicle ramp extension, the park will launch an updated ferry boat in November 2019 which has been retrofitted to improve safety and operational efficiency of the ferry service. The new boat will sit higher in the water, carry up to 12 tons of weight, and have longer ramps to reach further up the shoreline. The new ferry will also provide seating and bike storage for hikers and bicyclists and should be able to accommodate some horse trailers.
The ramp extension project is being coordinated by the park with assistance from the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Lands Highway Division. For more information on the Green River Ferry improvement projects and the Green River Ferry and road closure, please visit the park’s website www.nps.gov/maca/green-river-ferry-improvement-projects.htm or call the Green River Ferry Hotline at 270-758-2166 for current ferry operating status.