Near Mammoth Cave in Edmonson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
The Forest Returns
Along this stretch of the Mammoth Cave Railroad, passengers looking out their small passenger coach were greeted with views of open fields. Then, the route of the Mammoth Cave Railroad was not through the forest, but through rural farmland. For generations settlers had labored to clear the forest and turn the rocky soil of the Mammoth Cave plateau into farm fields of corn, hay, tobacco, and pastures for livestock.
Today, decades after the establishment of Mammoth Cave National Park, nature has reclaimed the old fields. Dense stands of Eastern Red Cedar, as seen here, are testament to the once cleared land. Cedars are among the first trees to return to abandoned fields, beginning a succession of changes that will eventually result in the mature hardwood forest of the dry ridgetops of south central Kentucky. Today, travelers are greeted by a mixed forest, alive with wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and a variety of other wildlife as the forest continues its return.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic Agriculture • Horticulture & Forestry • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 37° 8.853′ N, 86° 5.512′ W. Marker is near Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, in Edmonson County. Marker is within Mammoth Cave National park, along the Mammoth Cave Railroad Trail. This 9-mile bicycle and hiking recreational trail follows the old Mammoth Cave Railroad bed. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mammoth Cave KY 42259, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mammoth Cave Railroad Bike & Hike Trail (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Trestle and the Highway (approx. 1.2 miles away); Hearth and Home (approx. 1.2 miles away); Union City: Cave Crossroads (approx. 1.3 miles away); Locust Grove Cemetery (approx. 1½ miles away); Engine No. 4 (approx. 2.6 miles away); The Mammoth Cave Railroad (approx. 2.6 miles away); Sand Cave (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mammoth Cave.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. The Mammoth Cave Railroad (1886-1931)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 29, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 415 times since then and 25 times this year. Last updated on December 1, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 29, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.