Devils Tower National Monument
This image shows the historic natural entrance to Mammoth Cave. Archeological evidence suggests that prehistoric American Indians utilized the caverns as much as 4,000 years ago. According to park legend, the large entrance to Mammoth Cave was rediscovered by a bear hunter in late 1790s. The cavern experienced a period of saltpeter mining during the War of 1812 era, then early exploitation of the cave for tourism began. Mammoth Cave was authorized as a national park in 1926. The region around the cave became a World Heritage Site in 1981, then an International Biosphere Reserve in 1990. The park now encompasses 53,000 acres in west central Kentucky (NPS, 1991).
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Last modified: 12/6/2010