Caves, Lakes and Parks Keep Bowling Green Residents Active

Mammoth Cave lives up to its name as the world’s longest cave with more than 365 miles of underground passageways.

On Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 02:55
Bowling Green, KY

Inside, outside or even down under – recreation in Bowling Green knows no limits. Caves are the area’s most unique draw, including perhaps the best known, Mammoth Cave.

Part of a national park, Mammoth lives up to its name as the world’s longest cave with more than 365 miles of underground passageways, which visitors can tour with the guidance of park rangers. At Lost River Cave, visitors walk along the riverbank and make their way to the cave entrance, where they embark on an underground boat tour in the cool 57-degree air. Above ground, the Butterfly Habitat, filled with native butterflies and birds, awes nature lovers.

Other area caves awaiting exploration include Crystal Onyx Cave, Cub Run Cave, Diamond Caverns, Kentucky Caverns, Hidden River Cave, Onyx Cave, and last but not least, Outlaw Cave, where Jesse James and others dodging the law were reported to have hidden. Water lovers have a number of lakes to enjoy, including Barren River Lake, a 10,050-acre fishing and boating paradise; Nolin Lake; Lake Malone and Dale Hollow Lake. In the heart of downtown Bowling Green is historic Fountain Square Park, which dates back to 1798. The centerpiece fountain features Hebe, the goddess of youth, surrounded by four statues representing the seasons.

The city’s newest park is Circus Square Park, which opened in summer 2008, a centerpiece of downtown redevelopment. Bowling Green has a number of other city parks, offering green space, sports, picnicking and more. For those who prefer a bit more action, there’s Beech Bend Park & Splash Lagoon, with exhilarating roller coasters and water rides. Disc golf – also known as Frisbee golf for the ‘ball’ that’s used – is quite the popular hobby here.

There are seven local parks sport disc golf courses, with the Bowling Green Disc Golf Association playing weekly doubles at several of them, including Kereiakes, Hobson Grove, White, and Lovers Lane parks.