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Glasgow, KY 42142
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Rivers

Green River

The 300-mile Green River is a tributary of the Ohio River that rises in Lincoln County in south-central Kentucky. Tributaries of the Green River include the Nolin River, the Pond River and the Rough River. The river takes its name from its green color, which is caused by the water's depth. The river flows through Mammoth Cave National Park and was impounded to create Green River Lake near Greensburg and Campbellsville. Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park has been classified a Kentucky Wild River. The area is a favorite for canoeing and wildlife watching.

Lakes

Barren River Lake

  Established January 1, 1965

Vast forests did not cover all of Kentucky. In the south-central portion of the state an area of open grasslands known as the “Barrens” made a stark contrast to the heavily forested terrain surrounding it. Native Americans had repeatedly burned the forests that once covered the region as a means to stampede and kill big game. These fires created an open savannah that in turn drew all types of wild game to feed off its lush grasses. Buffalo herds migrated eastward across the Mississippi to Illinois, and then to Kentucky. These herds came to the Barrens and multiplied, providing food and clothing for the Indians. The open lands of the Barrens also drew settlers who found the treeless areas easy to cultivate. Originally the pioneers thought the treeless grasslands infertile because of the lack of forestation. They soon found the soil to be some of the best that they had encountered. Farms and communities soon began to cover the area. In 1798 Barren County became the 37th county of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Taken from parts of Green and Warren counties, Barren consisted of 1,500 square miles. Beginning in 1815, the county had 1,000 square miles taken away to create portions of Allen, Edmonson, Hart, Metcalfe, and Monroe Counties. Although Barren County had a railroad, most of south-central Kentucky remained isolated. The need for development became a topic for most civic and government organizations. A dam on Barren River had economic potential in the promotion of tourism. By 1960, construction of a 146 foot-high dam began on the river. When completed the dam had created Barren River Lake. The lake covers 10,000 acres and has a shoreline of 141 miles. The Louisville division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed and built the dam. They continue to maintain the lake. A movement by the people of Barren County to establish a park next to the lake became a reality on January 1, 1965. The state purchased adjoining farms to extend the park site and the Louisville Corps of Engineers donated acreage to round out the park’s boundaries. In 1966 the park constructed a boat dock with a marina. The Department of the Interior, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, approved a total development project of $3,469,000. A federal grant of $1,734,500 funded 50 percent of the estimated cost. In 1971 the Louie B. Nunn State Lodge opened. The lodge overlooks the beautiful 10,000-acre lake. Barren River Lake is located in some of Kentucky’s most scenic countryside. On the first weekend in June the park hosts Glasgow Highland Games, a festival celebrating Scottish heritage. Thousands of people attend this popular event each year. Today, Barren River Lake State Resort Park features basketball courts, biking and hiking trails, birding opportunities, boating and marina, camping, fishing, an 18-hole regulation golf course, horseback riding picnic areas, playgrounds, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

 

Nolin River Lake

Nolin River Lake is a short drive from every area of our service territory and has an average annual visitation of over two million. Known for its unique blue/green water, Nolin is one of the top five lakes in Kentucky for catfish, bass, crappie, and walleye fishing. The majority of the path Nolin River follows is located within the boundary of Mammoth Cave National Park, making for very scenic canoe trips. Nolin Lake is popular with boaters and fishermen alike, and campers will enjoy the new Nolin Lake Campground. In May 2001, Nolin Lake State Park opened to the public. The 5,795-acre lake created from the impoundment of the Nolin River in 1963 and the 333-acre park are located along the northern edge of Mammoth Cave National Park in Edmonson County. Nolin Lake State Park is an excellent place to camp and fish. The park has 32 campsites with hookups for water and electricity along with 40 primitive campsites. There is a beach, shower and laundry facilities, playgrounds, and the lake has an abundance of bass, catfish, crappie and, walleye for great fishing. The area surrounding Nolin Lake State Park is topographically diverse. Edmonson County is part of “cave country.” Mammoth Cave is the largest explored cave system in the world. Since its discovery by early settlers in the late 1700s, millions of visitors have come to explore the more than 340 miles of known passageways. Mammoth Cave National Park covers 51,000 acres. Edmondson County was formed in January 12, 1825 and named for Capt. John Edmondson of Virginia, who was killed at the Battle of the River Raisin in the War of 1812. Edmondson is a rural county that has a gently rolling terrain that in places gives way to steep hills. The county has both Nolin and Green Rivers flowing within its boundaries.

Geologic Features

Mammoth Cave The human experience of Mammoth Cave reflects one of humanity's most potent emotions: wonder. The dark depths of a pit or passage trigger inborn questions – where does that go? How far? Is anything in there? The first human to enter Mammoth Cave passed under its imposing arch about 4,000 years ago. His reason for probing the shadows? The same as ours today. Curiosity led the way to discoveries of minerals, and primitive miners plumbed the rocky halls for nearly 2,000 years before the cave again fell quiet. It would not again echo the sound of human feet clattering the floor stones until the very end of the 18th century. Once European settlers discovered Mammoth Cave, stories both inspiring and strange began to accumulate about their adventures underground. The cave's stories spoke of curiosity, cures, captivity and capitalism; excitement, exploration and exploitation. And the story keeps on going. From the torch-bearing Indian to yesterday's park visitor, the fabric of the story-cloth of Mammoth Cave continues to be woven. Perhaps the most famous of the small engines of the Mammoth Cave Railroad, No. 3, known as "Hercules", transported visitors from Bell's Station/Glasgow Junction (now Park City) to the Mammoth Cave Hotel and back.

 

The South-Central Kentucky karst is a crossroad of carbonate bedrock stretching north to Indiana, east to the Cumberland Plateau, south to Georgia and west to the Ozarks. The park is bisected east to west by the Green River, which defines the hydrologic base-level and divides the region into two distinct physiographic areas. North of the river an alternating series of limestones and insoluble rocks are exposed with the main limestone strata accessible only near the river and in the bottom of a few deeply incised valleys. This has resulted in rugged topography with streams that alternately flow on insoluble rocks, over waterfalls, enter caves in limestone and resurface at springs perched on the next lower stratum of insoluble rock.

South of the Green River the insoluble sandstone and shale caprock over the limestone has preserved significant portions of Mammoth Cave. Cave Entrances Natural, modified natural, and artificial cave entrances pose some of the greatest challenges in the management of karst resources because provision must be made for movement of air, water and wildlife within acceptable tolerances while simultaneously providing an adequate deterrent to illegal human entry.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service approved bat gates have been installed on the entrances of caves supporting major bat hibernation areas. Cave gates are designed to accommodate bat movement, provide greater security, natural rates of air exchange and restore endangered Indiana and gray bat habitat. Airlocks have been installed on man-made entrances to restore cave atmospheric conditions.

Speleothems (Cave formations) Within the cave, a vast array of subterranean geologic features have developed over millenia, including stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, travertine dams, and several types of gypsum formations such as the aptly-named "gypsum flowers."

Temperature

  Avg High (°F) Avg Low (°F) Mean (°F) Heat Deg Day Cool Deg Day
Barren County, KY
  Avg High (°F) Avg Low (°F) Mean (°F) Heat Deg Day Cool Deg Day
Jan 46.9 27.5 37.2 862 0
Feb 52.3 30.8 41.5 657 1
Mar 61.9 37.9 49.9 476 8
Apr 72.7 46.0 59.3 214 44
May 80.4 55.0 67.7 57 141
Jun 87.9 63.2 75.5 3 320
Jul 90.7 67.1 78.9 0 431
Aug 90.1 65.5 77.8 1 397
Sep 83.8 58.2 71.0 29 209
Oct 72.7 47.2 60.0 203 47
Nov 60.7 38.8 49.8 464 6
Dec 49.4 30.4 39.9 779 1
Edmonson County, KY
  Avg High (°F) Avg Low (°F) Mean (°F) Heat Deg Day Cool Deg Day
Jan 43.2 26.0 34.6 942 0
Feb 48.1 29.0 38.6 740 0
Mar 58.9 36.9 47.9 536 7
Apr 69.4 47.0 58.2 239 35
May 76.6 55.5 66.1 69 102
Jun 83.5 63.8 73.7 2 262
Jul 86.6 67.2 76.9 0 369
Aug 86.4 66.1 76.3 1 350
Sep 80.8 58.9 69.9 26 171
Oct 70.0 47.5 58.8 231 38
Nov 58.8 38.6 48.7 492 3
Dec 46.4 29.5 38.0 838 0
Hart County, KY
  Avg High (°F) Avg Low (°F) Mean (°F) Heat Deg Day Cool Deg Day
Jan 45.6 28.3 36.9 869 0
Feb 51.0 31.7 41.4 663 1
Mar 60.8 39.1 50.0 475 9
Apr 71.4 47.3 59.4 213 44
May 78.8 55.3 67.1 67 131
Jun 85.7 63.9 74.8 5 299
Jul 88.8 68.0 78.4 0 415
Aug 88.2 66.5 77.4 1 384
Sep 82.5 59.3 70.9 31 208
Oct 71.7 48.5 60.1 198 46
Nov 59.9 40.2 50.1 456 7
Dec 48.3 31.1 39.7 785 0
Metcalfe County, KY
  Avg High (°F) Avg Low (°F) Mean (°F) Heat Deg Day Cool Deg Day
Jan 46.4 22.7 34.6 944 0
Feb 51.7 26.0 38.8 732 0
Mar 60.8 33.4 47.1 559 4
Apr 70.9 41.4 56.1 288 23
May 78.1 50.6 64.4 101 81
Jun 85.8 58.7 72.2 11 229
Jul 88.8 62.2 75.5 0 326
Aug 88.1 61.0 74.5 2 298
Sep 81.9 53.8 67.8 53 138
Oct 71.6 42.8 57.2 265 23
Nov 60.8 33.5 47.1 537 2
Dec 49.3 25.1 37.2 862 0

Temperature Extremes, Annual Number of Days

  Days
Barren County, KY
  Days
High > 90°F (Num. of Days) 54
Low < 32°F (Num. of Days) 78
Low < 0°F (Num. of Days) 1
Edmonson County, KY
  Days
High > 90°F (Num. of Days) 21
Low < 32°F (Num. of Days) 79
Low < 0°F (Num. of Days) 0
Hart County, KY
  Days
High > 90°F (Num. of Days) 37
Low < 32°F (Num. of Days) 70
Low < 0°F (Num. of Days) 1
Metcalfe County, KY
  Days
High > 90°F (Num. of Days) 35
Low < 32°F (Num. of Days) 110
Low < 0°F (Num. of Days) 2

Precipitation

  Precip Total " Snowfall Total " Days Precip ≥ 0.01" Days Precip ≥ 0.5" Days Snow Depth ≥ 10"
Barren County, KY
  Precip Total " Snowfall Total " Days Precip ≥ 0.01" Days Precip ≥ 0.5" Days Snow Depth ≥ 10"
Jan 4.1 2.7 11.0 2.6 0.0
Feb 4.3 3.0 10.9 3.0 0.1
Mar 4.5 0.9 12.3 3.1 0.0
Apr 4.5 0.1 11.6 3.0 0.0
May 5.7 0.0 12.1 4.0 0.0
Jun 4.6 0.0 10.8 3.0 0.0
Jul 4.9 0.0 10.1 3.4 0.0
Aug 3.7 0.0 8.2 2.5 0.0
Sep 3.8 0.0 8.2 2.4 0.0
Oct 3.5 0.0 8.8 2.1 0.0
Nov 4.3 0.0 10.8 3.0 0.0
Dec 5.0 1.2 13.0 3.6 0.0
Edmonson County, KY
  Precip Total " Snowfall Total " Days Precip ≥ 0.01" Days Precip ≥ 0.5" Days Snow Depth ≥ 10"
Jan 3.7 1.3 9.5 2.7 0.0
Feb 4.1 2.0 9.2 2.8 0.0
Mar 4.4 0.3 10.1 2.8 0.0
Apr 4.4 0.0 10.9 3.2 0.0
May 5.8 0.0 10.6 4.0 0.0
Jun 4.1 0.0 9.4 3.2 0.0
Jul 4.3 0.0 8.3 3.2 0.0
Aug 3.4 0.0 7.1 2.2 0.0
Sep 3.9 0.0 7.4 2.3 0.0
Oct 3.8 0.0 7.9 2.6 0.0
Nov 4.3 0.2 9.3 3.1 0.0
Dec 5.1 0.4 10.7 3.5 0.0
Hart County, KY
  Precip Total " Snowfall Total " Days Precip ≥ 0.01" Days Precip ≥ 0.5" Days Snow Depth ≥ 10"
Jan 3.6 3.1 10.3 2.6 N/A
Feb 4.2 3.6 8.8 3.1 N/A
Mar 4.6 1.2 10.5 3.9 N/A
Apr 3.7 0.0 9.6 2.6 N/A
May 5.9 0.0 10.0 3.6 N/A
Jun 4.9 0.0 9.5 3.5 N/A
Jul 4.1 0.0 7.7 2.5 N/A
Aug 3.2 0.0 6.4 2.3 N/A
Sep 4.3 0.0 7.1 2.6 N/A
Oct 3.4 0.0 6.9 1.9 N/A
Nov 4.0 0.0 9.6 3.4 N/A
Dec 4.5 1.3 10.4 3.0 N/A
Metcalfe County, KY
  Precip Total " Snowfall Total " Days Precip ≥ 0.01" Days Precip ≥ 0.5" Days Snow Depth ≥ 10"
Jan 3.7 3.2 9.7 2.5 0.0
Feb 4.2 2.6 10.5 2.6 0.1
Mar 4.4 0.8 11.3 3.1 0.0
Apr 3.8 0.1 10.7 2.5 0.0
May 5.2 0.0 11.3 3.3 0.0
Jun 4.1 0.0 9.9 2.7 0.0
Jul 4.1 0.0 10.0 2.7 0.0
Aug 3.4 0.0 7.6 2.2 0.0
Sep 3.6 0.0 7.5 2.6 0.0
Oct 3.5 0.0 7.5 2.0 0.0
Nov 4.2 0.0 10.1 3.0 0.0
Dec 4.6 1.3 11.3 3.4 0.0