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Sinkhole / White's Cave Loop

A looped hike with smaller caves, sinkholes, and vibrant scenery.

Hiking Moderate

4.2 km
124 m
124 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
140 m
High Point
226 m
Sinkhole / White's Cave Loop Map

This route stands out from the other short hikes at Mammoth Cave's Visitor Center. A 2.5-mile loop, it wanders into "a portion of the park to discover smaller caves and sinkholes in a mossy green landscape," according to this source. This hike can also be paired with Sunset Point, which offers spectacular views over the Green River Valley with just a short detour.


Open year-round, each season offers its own unique touch to this hike. During the spring, wildflowers abound along the forest floor, while moss and ferns tend to prevail during the summer. Fall offers spectacular leaf colors, while winter gives way to expansive views after the trees lose their leaves.

Hiked counter-clockwise, you'll begin on the Heritage Trail before turning left on Sinkhole Trail. For the best views of the sinkhole, continue to the junction with Echo River Springs Trail, then retrace your steps back to the White's Cave Trail. "Estimated to be about 500 yards deep," the cave "was once the source of souvenir cave formations pieces" though it is now sealed to protect its natural beauty and the bats that live within.

Begin your hike along the walkway between the visitor center and hotel. Water and restrooms are both available nearby, and there is no preference on the direction of the loop. Depending on your schedule, this could be a great option to pass time before waiting for a guided cave tour. Other shorter hikes include Dixon Cave and River Styx Spring, both slightly shorter and somewhat easier.




Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area