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Cave City, Kentucky: Trail to Sand Cave, Where Floyd Collins Died

Historical marker at trailhead, walkway on the path trod by doomed cave explorer Floyd Collins and thousands of his would-be rescuers.

Old Mammoth Cave Rd, Cave City, KY
On the north side of Hwy 255/Old Mammoth Cave Rd, a paved pull-off just before the entrance sign to Mammoth Cave National Park.
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Visitor Tips and News About Trail to Sand Cave, Where Floyd Collins Died

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Sand Cave.

Trail to Sand Cave, Where Floyd Collins Died

Parking at trailhead. An easy 5 minute walk on a boardwalk to the cave opening. When you get to the end of the boardwalk, you can see the actual original trail going past it, and yes -- there is a rest seat about midway, which is where the crowd carnival was.

[Stephen Francia, 04/01/2023]
Trail to Floyd Collins' Sand Cave

While planning a trip from Nashville to Columbus I checked found out about the Floyd Collins Museum. I read about him in school and have been fascinated by the affair ever since, so I took the side trip. Mrs Bull was delighted to have me, and told me that only a few hundred feet farther up the road you can walk to the entrance to Sand Cave itself, which is now part of Mammoth Cave National Park.

Just before entering the park there is a pull-off. A sign there sets the scene, and you can then follow a boardwalk back into the woods (Mrs Bull confided she misses the original path, the same dirt Floyd and later his would-be rescuers trod; but the boardwalk follows the same route. If you stop and look underneath you can actually see the worn trail.).

At about the point where onlookers were stopped by a fence during the rescue effort another sign stands continuing the story, with a bench to rest if needed. A little farther and around a turn, the path ends overlooking the cave's mouth, with one more sign telling the end of the story. The walk is short, maybe 1/4 mile, so nearly anybody could make it without trouble. The place is quiet, pretty and really kind of eerie. (As a postscript I stopped on the way back to the interstate, where an elderly man was selling birdhouses. When I told him why I had come he regaled me with the stories told to him by his dad, who was a taxi driver in Cave City and not only knew Floyd Collins, but recalled driving carloads of reporters up to Sand Cave during the rescue!)

[Lisa Millraney, 09/01/2007]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Mike's: Mystery House, Rocks, and Big MoBig Mike's: Mystery House, Rocks, and Big Mo, Cave City, KY - < 1 mi.
Ruins of Bell's TavernRuins of Bell's Tavern, Park City, KY - 4 mi.
Floyd Collins GraveFloyd Collins Grave, Cave City, KY - 3 mi.
In the region:
White Squirrels of Bowling Green, Bowling Green, KY - 25 mi.

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