For those of you who’ve ever ridden at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and wished there were more campgrounds with facilities available, I have good news: You can now head to D Bar K Horse Camp in Mammoth Cave; I’ve just returned from there, and I highly recommend it.

Only 200 yards from the Lincoln Trail Head, D Bar K is a much-welcomed addition to the area. It’s a relatively new facility, owned and run by trail riders Debbie and Ernest King. It offers campsites with electricity and water hookups, and also has lots of room for primitive camping. Own a stallion? No problem! Stallions are permitted.

For your horses, the camp features 22 covered stalls with hay racks and bucket hangers. There are also plenty of panel pens. Have you ever gone to muck out your stall and not been able to find a pitchfork or wheelbarrow? That didn’t happen at D Bar K; tools are kept handy.

Mammoth Cave National Park has 70 miles of well-marked trails, ranging from easy to challenging, with several watering holes for your horse along the way. For your travel buddies who don’t ride, there’s Nolin River State Park nearby, as well as the Green River for some fun canoeing.

I’ve just returned from an All Cowgirl Weekend at D Bar K. This was the first organized trail ride with the Kings; they did a great job.

Our weekend started Friday night with burgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and potato salad. Saturday morning began with a tasty breakfast casserole, then everyone saddled up for a poker run in Mammoth Cave National Park. Ernie brought our lunch to us at a poker stop, and we enjoyed a relaxing lunch on the trail.

Saturday night, after grilled steak or pork tenderloin, most of the campers gathered around a campfire to enjoy some guitar picking and singing. There was even a little bit of line dancing going on!

As with any first-time endeavor, there were a couple of “bumps along the trail,” but you can bet the next ride will be even better! Overall, the experience was wonderful. Good fun, good food, and great hosts. I hope to be able to make many more trips to D Bar K.

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