caves in Huntsville Alabama caves in Huntsville Alabama

4 Stunning Caves in Huntsville Alabama to Visit

Caves have always been dark and mysterious – hollow spaces in nature, full of wonderment. Caves in Huntsville, Alabama, are just as mysterious and await exploration.

Fun fact: Before Huntsville, AL, was named the rocket city, it was known as the cave city.

Many people love to go hiking through the beautiful forest to peek into the empty caves in Huntsville, Alabama.

Suppose you are a spelunker, an amateur who has just started fulfilling your fascination with caves, or a simple nature lover who loves to explore. In that case, the many caves in Huntsville, Alabama are just the place for you.

Alabama is a cool hangout for tourists with its dark caves, with tunnels and passages running into nowhere.

These caves depend on thermal heat, and their temperature remains constant throughout the year. Whether the temperature is boiling outside or chilly and cool in winter, it is always lovely and cool inside the caves.

If you are a geologist or a speleologist and wish to study the caves, make sure to look at the caves in Huntsville Alabama.

Caves in Huntsville Alabama
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash Copyrights 2016

Caving, or spelunking through the caves in Huntsville Alabama, can get complicated and dangerous at many points.

Even for pro spelunkers, it gets dangerous at times and could cost you your health. If you are a newbie, it is advised to go with a group or a guide to help you navigate and enjoy your experience.

People can acquire and face specific problems like drowning, hypothermia, falling and injuring, rockfall, hypothermia, breathlessness, and excessive exhaustion.

But that doesn’t mean you just let go of the entire idea of taking a look at the beautiful caves in Huntsville Alabama. Taking care and precautions for a few things before going on cave tours can help.

There are some 2000 mapped caves between Madison and Jackson counties. Some of the caves in Alabama had been constructed on private property, and a number of these caves are accessible on tours and open to tourists.

Native Americans used these caves, and many of these caves have historical significance. These caves are naturally beautiful, and besides having a rich history, they were also the home of prehistoric people, otherwise known as cave dwellers.

1. Things to Keep in Mind

Some things should be kept in mind before you want to continue with your journey.

  • Never go alone. Go with a companion or with a group, if you get lost or injure yourself, you will have help at hand.
  • Get an idea about the terrain and what you are getting yourself into. The caves in Huntsville Alabama can be steep and rocky and can test your physical endurance.
  • If you have any heart problems or respiratory problems, make sure you are well-equipped before going. Make sure that you know your body’s capabilities.
  • Carry the proper equipment and gear and wear comfortable clothes, and make sure to carry adequate food and water in case of emergencies.
  • Have a properly stocked first aid kit with all the essentials in it, this is very important as it could save you from a load of physical damage.
  • Advanced explorers use ropes and other suspension equipment to ensure they are sturdy and not fragile.
  • Check the weather. If it is snowing or raining or very cold, don’t go. Cold temperatures can make you breathless, and rainwater can collect in the nooks and crannies of the caves and can cause flooding.
  • Make sure to leave proper markers as you enter deep into the caves in Huntsville Alabama, this will help you from getting lost. Don’t take unnecessary risks and don’t be in haste; take proper precautions and think before you step on any surface or rock.
  • Always inform a few other people about your plans to go caving.
  • Be well versed in first aid and how to help others in case of an accident or emergency.

Once you get this checklist straight, you are off to a perfect start traversing through the Caves in Huntsville, Alabama.

1.1. Caving PreparationsThe caving preparations would mean purchasing a ticket right before entering the cave, tickets are sold before you enter the caves and for the sole purpose of maintaining the cave.

The next step you can take is meeting your guide and if you need special gear that is included for you just as a part of the ticket price.

The dress you would like to wear should be layered, and you should also wear grippy shoes. You are advised to keep your high-heeled shoes away and wear clothes that will not get dirty or drenched in mud or water.

The trail for the caverns would mean following a rocky path, so you should tie your shoes and set the ball rolling only after your preparations are over.

Caves in huntsville alabama
Image by FotoNero on Shutterstock

2. Must-Visit Caves in Huntsville Alabama

If you are lost about the spots and locations and don’t know where to look, here is a list of a few of the caves in Huntsville, Alabama that you can go exploring.

2.1. Cathedral Caverns State Park

The cathedral caverns are the most famous rock formation caves in Huntsville Alabama and are enveloped by a stalagmite forest for approximately 3 acres.This cave is 8 feet long, vast with a massive entrance, and wheelchair accessible, the presence of approximately 35,000 feet of concrete walkaways, 2 miles of path, and an extended 2,700 feet beyond the path, are some of its added features.

No amateur cave explorers can go towards the extended Trail as it is risky and needs proper expertise for exploration. The caverns also depict the most beautiful frozen waterfall and a caveman perched on a flowstone wall.

The cathedral cavern is home to one of the tallest stalagmites that nature has ever created, named the Goliath, which is 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.

Tourists generally prefer cave tours, and only parts of the cave are accessible to people who can undertake the risk of journeying far.

Some of the activities practiced inside the park include primitive tent camping, gemstone mining, and hiking the trail network. The cave is said to maintain a 60-degree temperature throughout the year.

2.2. Land Trust of North Alabama – Monte Sano Nature Preserve

Monte Sano comes under the land trust of North Alabama, a nature preserve association that takes charge of preserving the natural beauty of Northern Alabama.

To survey these caves in Huntsville Alabama, you may have to go through hiking trails that form loops through the beautiful forest. The forest can also be used for bird watching and biking, and the hike is easy and can be done by kids.

The beautiful formations in the caves would keep you mesmerized. The creations of flowstones due to limestone and water formations are sights you will have never seen before.

You could also drive up here and park your vehicles in available parking lots.

The caves here are a sight to behold with their fair share of railroad history, natural flowers growing in plenty, fossils, bridges, steep roads, and beautiful hardwoods.

Hiking Bluff Line to Alms House Trail, Monte Sano Nature Preserve, Huntsville, Alabama

There are guided tours available throughout the year, and there are 20 trails and elevations from some 700 feet to 1500 feet.

Some of these are gravel paths, and some are steep rocks, and many people tread the path to explore a slice of history and the natural habitats found in these places.

All kinds of people from history buffs to naturalists, civic groups, team building groups, and scouts will seek to adventure out as more than 150 species of birds frequent this place.

The three caves in Huntsville Alabama are a great location where music concerts are held. This is the most unique venue ever seen for concerts and is located just miles from downtown.

2.3. Three Caves

Limestone extracted from the caves led to the formation of Three Caves as they were handed over to the Madison Limestone Company by Madison County in 1945.

Limestone was harvested from the ground, and the place became bare as the construction process in Huntsville took place, and roads and streets grew in number.

The quarry operations closed in 1952, and the city of Huntsville came in the way of mines. The Land Trust received this property in 1989, and geological formations developed with time like stalactite and stalagmite, flowstone, and cave pearls.

Late in 2006, rockfall issues were discovered, and a significant part of the ceiling is still unstable and creates a dangerous situation for visitors.

Hikers can glimpse the Three Caves from the Three Caves Loop. The trial is odd, taking you through waterfalls, natural springs, sinkholes, and teeming wildlife.

Bottom line: It is a quiet escape to nature from the rush of bubbling city life.

2.4. Shelta Caves

Huntsville Underground: Let's dive into Shelta Cave

Shelta Caves happens to be one of the most biodiverse caves within Appalachian Mountain. The cave is located near Huntsville, Madison County, 2500 meters long.

In the early 1990s, the cave used to be an underground bar and dance hall.

At certain times of the year, the cave is open to NSS members to reduce the impact on Biome. Three sinkhole entrances line up in the entrance, and during the early spring rainy season, the lake spreads over seven acres.

Shelta caves are part of the Karst cave system which is a part of North Alabama. You can always study landform evolution, climate change, past environments, sediments, and cave morphology.

Shelta caves are also home to bats. These bats had become low in number and are once more coming back thanks to the effort taken by conservationists.

3. Caves in Huntsville Alabama

It is said that there are hundreds of caves between Madison County and Jackson County. The whole Madison County courthouse in downtown Huntsville is on the top of caves.There are so many more unexplored caves in Huntsville Alabama, and if you explore a new one, you could also have a rare opportunity to name it.

Alone, the famous 67-year-old caver Bill Torode has mapped about 1000 caves in Huntsville, Alabama.

Exploring caves can be a great hobby and help you rejuvenate and relax from your hectic schedules, and it can help keep you physically fit. Also, you get to see the wonders of mother nature along the hike trails and walks.

Alabama is known as the cave capital of the world, and there are different caves from small to big to greet you on your way.

Though these diverse arrays of caves stretch through the country’s breadth, each is known for its uniqueness. They can entice your senses and draw you towards them with their earthy charm.

Apart from this, the Huntsville Botanical Garden draws many tourists around the year. The botanical garden showcases thousands of plant species, great pavilions, and quaint water bodies that at once grab your attention.

Cave National is another tourist attraction that is found here, the national cave monument also draws several tourists with its recreational opportunities and impressive wilderness.

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Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash Copyrights 2017

Closing Thoughts

If you are in the mood to explore them and want some decent underground adventure, look no further than going for a hike in Huntsville Alabama.

Several caves dot the surface area, and these caves are full of lime sink, water, gravel, and boulders.

So what is it that is holding you back? Set yourself free, and with your bag on your back, you will love to discover some of the most beautiful caves on earth.

With so many plus points, why delay planning a cave tour to any of the caves in Huntsville, Alabama?



Top 5 Alabama Caves To Explore
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