Mammoth Cave Trail Rehabilitation

Mammoth Cave - Frozen Niagra 032.jpg

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Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky



HDR, Inc. (Initial Topographic Survey)

The Tradesmen Group, Inc. (Construction)

Completion Date


Mammoth Cave National Park was established in 1941 to protect the unparalleled underground labyrinth of caves and the Green River Valley above.  Since exploration began many centuries ago, over 400 miles of the Cave has been explored, making it the longest known cave system in the world.  Of that 400 miles, approximately 40 miles have been developed to allow tourists the opportunity to explore this natural wonder.

DDS worked with HDR Engineering, Inc, The National Park Service and The Mammoth Cave National Park to prepare a topographical survey of some of the more popular trails within the cave.  Some of these trails included the Historic, Gothic Avenue, Grozen Niagara, Violet City Lantern Tour, and Grand Avenue - totaling approximately 10 miles of trails.  As one can imagine, a cave survey differs in complexity from a typical above ground survey tremendously.  Being underground, much of our working conditions were in little to no light, in areas where working ceiling heights reached as little as two feet, and trails widths barely equaled one foot.  This survey was later used by the National Park Service to design a more permanent, safer trail system comprised of concrete pavers and cast in place concrete.  

Once the rehabilitation design was complete, DDS worked with The Tradesmen Group, Inc, The National Park Service and The Mammoth Cave National Park to provide both construction layout and staking services as well as construction material testing services.  Concrete used for the trails was carefully tested, as each batch was made on site within the Cave, and carried by hand to the final placement site in 5-gallon buckets.  Following the completion of the two year construction of the new pathways, DDS performed an as-built survey of the improved trails in order for The Tradesmen Group, Inc. to have an accurate quantity estimate to be used for final payment.  3d Laser Scans were also performed of much of the completed trail project in conjunction with the as-built survey.


For more information on the cemeteries located within the Mammoth Cave National Park, visit the map to the left of the screen or click here.