Road Ends in Water

Green River Ferry caution sign


A sign reading “Road Ends in Water” might alarm the unwary driver, but we drove the Green River Ferry Road for that very reason. Two rural ferries operate within Mammoth Cave National Park, and we were intrigued enough to seek out at least one of the river crossings.Ferry ride

Mammoth Cave National Park Map and Visitor Information

We drove down a hill and edged up to a stop sign to wait our turn, watching river water spray sideways as the unusual ferry boat glided nonchalantly across the few yards of river splitting the road. It appeared as a sliver of asphalt, flanked by a Porta John and an operator’s booth. As it putttered toward us, it gave physicality to the Irish Blessing: “May the road rise to meet you...”

Ferry crossingWe drove aboard with no notions of u-turns, and one additional car squeezed in behind us. There was just enough time to snap a couple of photos before the safety arm lifted, releasing us to explore the other side of the Green River. We honked a “thank you” as we drove off. The ferry captain tooted his horn in reply, loaded up with his next vehicle and began his return journey, bearing and sharing the essential missing piece of road.

Mammoth Cave National Park Map and Visitor Information

The largest cave system in the world; 367 miles so far…!

Miles of trails both above and below ground.

Hiking, biking, kayak/canoe, horseback riding, hunting/fishing, camping…

“Yes” for pets (not in Cave; kennel available within park)


Park Fees: None for park entry. Cave tours range from $5 – $48.00 with discounts for youth and senior citizens.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7; Mammoth Cave, KY 42259

Phone: 270-758-2180

Directions: Travel south on I-65 from Louisville, KY. Take Mammoth Cave/Cave City exit 53 and follow the signs to Mammoth Cave NP.

Park Website

View Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky in a larger map

Updated from March 31, 2009

14 Comments to Road Ends in Water

  1. Beautiful post and photos, Heather!!! i love your travel experiences. 😀

    Hugs, JJ

  2. A well written experience, with fine pictures of the event

  3. How exciting. I bet it’s a slightly different experience during heavy rains and high water, snow, and Ice. Didn’t really notice the Porta John until you pointed it out. I suppose that could come in handy for the ferry Captain. Nice…

  4. Suzanne Perazzini

    That is the cutest thing. It must be the shortest ferry ride in the world. I guess they have shift workers or you’d better take a tent with you so can camp out while waiting for the man to come on duty.

  5. Hey Heather. Great post! You have given me and my family so many good ideas for excursions to explore. The next time I go to visit my brother in Ohio, we will definately take a trip through Kentucky to find this place.

  6. Heather

    Thank you, JJ. FYI, I understand that the Green River is great for kayaking. Unfortunately, it was running too high for that when we were there, but I’m keeping it in mind for another time. ~Another destination for you and Jeff to paddle?
    Thanks, Graham.
    Intrepid: The Porta John made me laugh. Very practical. Hopefully, the operator always remembers to tie up the boat first.

  7. I’ve subscribed to your blog, I have missed reading and listening to it…hope all is well with you and your family…;)

  8. Suzanne: It was certainly unique within my own ferry experiences. The kids loved it.
    Brad: I think your group would really enjoy it! -But, check out the tours ahead of time at the park website. I understand that the most popular ones can get filled up in peak season, but you can reserve spots on-line. Another great summertime option is kayaking. There are several outfitters in the area with trip options that go through the park.
    Thank you mee mOe! It’s good to hear from you. I’m glad we connected on Facebook!

  9. rino

    Hi Heather,
    How come you always get to see the best places in the world?

  10. Hey Rino! I haven’t been to your Philippines yet, so I haven’t seen ALL the best spots.

  11. Actually it looks very misterious

  12. A disappearing road is kind of eerie, Protaras.

  13. Wow I have learned 2 things today just by your photos and what you write with them…The largest cave system in the world; 367 miles so far…! INCREDIBLE!

  14. Isn’t that amazing Patrick? 367 and still counting! The idea that there is more to explore on this earth is always thrilling. Not sure I’d want to venture too far into the dark crevices they’re still discovering, but I’m quite happy to follow the marked trails with a seasoned guide!

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