If you're daydreaming of the day you can travel again and are looking for something unique to do, consider stopping by the Cathedral Caverns in Woodville, Alabama. This natural wonder has some of the largest stalagmites in the world, and your visit will help support a local state park. So next time you find yourself in Northern Alabama, a visit to Cathedral Caverns State Park should definitely be on your list.
The caves were initially opened to the public back in the '50s by Jacob Gurley. Though it was originally called the Bat Cave, the name was changed to Cathedral Caverns due to the stalagmites creating a cathedral-like appearance inside the caves. The state of Alabama purchased the cave in 1987 but didn't open Cathedral Caverns State Park to the public until 2000. Since then, visitors have been able to stop by for a cave tour to see the large stalagmite forest up close.
Maybe the most enticing part about stopping by the caves to beat the summer heat is that they stay at a consistent 60 degrees year-round. Yes, please! Inside you'll get to see a frozen waterfall, a "caveman," and various beautiful formations of rocks. You'll also get to see "Goliath," which, at 45 feet tall, is the largest stalagmite in the world. Even the massive entrance to the cave itself is enormous — 126 feet wide and 25 feet high.
Other than taking guided tours through the cave systems, the state park has areas for campsites for tent camping with restrooms nearby. There are two different picnic table areas near the Welcome Center for you to take a load off before you explore the various hiking trails throughout the 493 acres of land in the park.
Caves tours will cost you $19 per adult and $9 per child age 5-12. You need to have a tour guide with you to enter the caves, so make sure you plan ahead. It's a popular spot for local field trips and tends to fill up during the summer months. Their website recommends calling ahead to see if any large tours are booked the day you plan on stopping by.
And don't forget that the kiddos might enjoy Gem Mining as well. You can purchase a bag of dirt and buckets in the gift shop and refer to the rock/fossil identification guide that comes with your purchase to see what came in your bag.
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