The Lost River Cave in Kentucky was an unexpected gem.
Often times, our road trips lead us to some less-than-familiar places. But just as often, we soon discover how great these locations actually are! During our Southern Road Trip, we stopped in Bowling Green, Kentucky to visit a local treasure, Lost River Cave. While some of you may be wondering why we chose to visit here instead of the National Corvette Museum, we’re happy to tell you that this conservancy puts it to shame (in our eyes).
As nature-lovers, we enjoyed just how many beautiful and unique opportunities awaited us in this wonderful preserve in the heart of the city. Though it is quite easy to miss if you are traveling down the US 31W, once found, this lost oasis supplies endless fun for your whole group!
Lost River Cave Blue Hole Trails
The 2+ miles of trails begin just next to the visitor’s center, sitting right at the entrance. We enjoyed strolling hand-in-hand through the canopy. The forest canopy is a lot denser than you would expect! Western Kentucky University and The Friends of the Lost River have worked hard to protect this habitat. This is easily noticeable as it has done wonders for the protection of this isolated environment.
By far, the best part of these trails is the view of vibrant blue holes. These holes are connected to an underground river, but are only a few feet deep, themselves. This has caused a lot of local folklore to develop around strange disappearances of valuables (and even people) that enter the waters to never again surface!
Lost River Cave Boat Tours
By far one of the coolest things we’ve done to date. First we took a walking tour to the blue holes, hearing the tales of disappearing soldiers from the Civil War. Then leaving the trail behind, we boarded a canoe with a few others and floated down into the cave. When it looks like you can not possibly go any further, the guide will tell you to get down really low and you are transported (under some very low hanging chert rock, by the way) into a hidden cave complex. As you pass under, be sure to touch the “wishing rock”. We really enjoyed the serenity of being in an otherwise unknown location, beneath (literally) the hustle-and-bustle of the city.
For all of you adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers, they also offer zip-lining in the beautiful preserve. While we didn’t have the opportunity to do this at the time, it is a revered staple of any visit. This acrobatic tour is composed of 3 breathtaking adventures through the trees and even pass over some of the blue holes (it’s okay, we’re all thinking about the integrity of the harness at this point). They have two different options: the Flying Squirrel Tour being offered for participants over 8 and meeting the weight requirements, and the Lightning Bug for the smaller members of your group (we did promise you fun for the whole group, after all).
Though it’s only a seasonal attraction, the Butterfly Habitat is most definitely a fan-favorite of many preserve-visitors. This is even more surprising when you learn there is no cost to visitors! You will experience that down-home country vibe stepping into this wonderful enclosure, decorated with an enchanting mural. The building exhibits an amazing collection of native Kentucky butterflies species and plays host to several butterfly releases (some of which are public!) throughout the summer season. This habitat is completely funded from the generous support of donors and as such always appreciates ongoing support.
Overall, the Lost River Cave area was a magnificent experience for us. With the avid nature-fanatic in mind, these folks really know how to have fun. Which goes to prove, protecting the natural world around us ensures great experiences for all.
To learn more about the Lost River Cave, and/or to make donations to help the Lost River Cave’s mission of educating people through nature, visit their website here.
Until Next Time,
Have any underground adventures of your own? What other attractions would you recommend in Bowling Green, Kentucky? Please, let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and follow us along on social media!