Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
132.00 ft (40.23 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
1.80 mi (2.90 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Rated as one of the best hikes in Mammoth Cave National Park, the Cedar Sink Trail is an easy lollipop loop trail that visits the Cedar Sink and offers glimpses into the underground river system. The top of the sandstone plateau rises 300 feet from the bottom of the sinkhole, and in periods of high precipitation, when the water table is high enough, you can see the underground river flowing through the sink. This geological feature is both dramatic and interesting, making it a must see for anyone hiking above ground at Mammoth Cave National Park. Tucked a little ways away from the park’s main attractions, you are also likely to find solitude as your explore the sink at your own pace.

The hike itself follows a scenic, well-maintained gravel path. At just past the 0.5-mile mark, the trail intersects with the loop that drops into and goes around the sink. There are a number of stairs that need to be traversed to drop into the sink. Taking the loop in the clockwise direction should be easier as it will take you down, rather than up, the longest series of steps. The scenery inside the sink is fantastic, and there are plenty of places for kids to run around and explore.

Consider hiking the trail in late April when the wildflowers are blooming, or in fall for beautiful autumn colors. Given the amount of shade along the trail, it is even perfect for hiking in the middle of summer. Come prepared with bug repellent, especially if visiting in late spring when the bugs are out in full force.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Neat geological features. Short and easy. Low congestion. Family friendly.

Cons

Stairs. Not near main park attractions. Bugs. No potable water.

Trailhead Elevation

609.00 ft (185.62 m)

Highest point

642.00 ft (195.68 m)

Features

Family friendly
Wildflowers
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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