Temporary canoe and kayak launch at the Green River Ferry

Canoes and Kayaks rest beside a temporary canoe and kayak launch at the Green River Ferry area in Mammoth Cave National Park.

Mammoth Cave National Park will begin construction on several improvement projects planned for the Green River Ferry area starting on Monday, July 20. The park will begin construction on a canoe and kayak river access ramp and the installation of a pedestrian bridge over the Echo River. River and ferry users will be able to access the Green River from the ferry ramps until Tuesday, September 8 when construction on the Green River Ferry ramp extension project will resume.

Canoe and Kayak Access Ramp Construction and Bridge Installation

The Green River Ferry area is a popular destination for river users who are beginning or ending their paddling trip down the Green River. The new canoe and kayak access ramp will improve river access, safety, and reduce congestion between paddlers and vehicles utilizing the ferry boat.

The Echo River Springs Trail pedestrian bridge will span approximately 200 feet over the Echo River and will create an accessible loop trail that leads directly back to the Green River Parking Area. The existing trail will also be extended by an additional 0.3 miles. Portions of the Echo River Springs Trail were rehabilitated in 2018 to improve accessibility and add tactile wayside interpretation stops along the route. The bridge project is the last step to complete the plan to improve Echo River Springs Trail.

During the canoe and kayak ramp construction and bridge installation the Green River Ferry parking area will be closed to all day use parking. The area will remain open to river users, hikers, and vehicles wishing to access the ferry during the ramp and bridge construction, but parking will only be allowed along the south side of Green River Ferry Road in areas where vehicles can safely pull off the roadway. The first half of the Echo River Springs Trail will remain open to the public, and two accessible parking spaces will be available for visitors with accessibility needs.

Green River Ferry South Ramp Extension Project Closure

The Green River Ferry will close vehicle ferry operations on Tuesday, September 8 in order to complete the last steps of a vehicle ramp extension project. The ramp work will also require the temporary closure of all river access points at Green River Ferry and Dennison Ferry, 7.6 miles upstream from Green River Ferry, for a period of three months.

River users may still utilize the Green River through the park but are advised that the only river access point will be at Houchin Ferry. Access to the Green River outside of the park, upstream in Munfordville, KY and downstream in Brownsville, KY, will remain available for use.

As part of the construction, 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. Day use parking in the Green River Ferry parking area will be temporally suspended.

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 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 or call the Green River Ferry Hotline at 270-758-2166 for current ferry operating status.

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