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A Cave Tour at Alabama’s Cathedral Caverns State Park

Cathedral Caverns State Park is a great day trip from Huntsville, Alabama that lets you explore a beautiful natural cave with many unique features.

If you’re looking for an adventure that captures the wonder of Mother Nature, look no further than a cave tour at Alabama’s Cathedral Caverns State Park.

I visited Cathedral Caverns on school field trips when I was young living in Huntsville, Alabama. I always enjoy revisiting the trips of my youth, particularly around Huntsville, and gaining a fresh, new experience.

Cathedral Caverns has the largest commercial cave entrance in the world. It’s a sight unlike any other, and you won’t want to miss it!

About Cathedral Caverns State Park

Cathedral Caverns Formations

Cathedral Caverns was opened to the public by Jacob Gurley in the 1950’s. Back then it was called Bat Cave. Gurley renamed the cave when he brought his wife back to one of his recently explored rooms and she said that room looked like a cathedral. 

The caverns were purchased by the state of Alabama in 1987, it was opened as a State Park in the summer of 2000. In 1995, it was used as the cave setting for the Disney movie Tom and Huck.

There’s camping, hiking, and gem mining at the state park, but the main attraction is a cave tour.

Cave Tour of Cathedral Caverns

Cathedral Caverns, Woodville, Alabama

The massive entrance to the cave is naturally formed and is wide enough to fit an airplane. The opening measures 126 feet wide and 25 feet high, setting the record for the largest commercial cave opening in the world.

The entrance is grand, but the cave just gets grander as you keep going further in.

Cave Features

The cave is full of interesting features, one of which is a stalagmite that measures 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference called Goliath.

Goliath is one of the largest stalagmites in the world and is still slowly growing at a rate of 1 cubic centimeter every 100 years.

Goliath Cathedral Caverns State Park

Further into the cave is the Mystery River that flows through the cave, and a “frozen” waterfall formation formed of water cascading over a layer of 135-foot-long flowstone.

Afterwards, you’ll come to the large stalagmite forest that is the caverns’ namesake: the Cathedral Room.

Stalagmite Forest Cathedral Caverns

Past the cathedral room, you’ll reach the end of the public cave. Beyond the path lie three more rooms that are only available to park staff to keep note of cave conditions.

One of these rooms is the Crystal Room, filled with soda straw formations made of pure white calcite. The formations in this room are so delicate that the movements of visitors could cause them to break.

At the end of the trail, the guide turns off the light to let you experience total darkness.

Cathedral Caverns Cave Tour Info

Cathedral Caverns Stalagmites

You are required to have a tour guide with you to enter the cave. While pets are allowed in the state park, pets are not allowed on cave tours.

During the school year, cave tours are popular for school field trips, with children visiting most frequently in the mornings. Tour times are adjusted to accommodate the large numbers during these months, but it’s recommended that you plan your visit for 12 p.m. or later.

Cathedral Caverns cave tours last approximately 90 minutes and cover a walk of about 1.5 miles round trip.

The temperature inside the caves is approximately 58 degrees all year around.

Location: 637 Cave Rd, Woodville, AL 35776

Admission: Cave tours cost $20 for adults, $18 for military, $9 for children ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and under.

Hours: Tours are available daily. Tours are available at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

Parking: Free parking for day-use visitors at the state park is available near the Visitor Center.

Cathedral Caverns Caves

Cathedral Caverns Cave Tour FAQ

How much does it cost to get in Cathedral Caverns?

Cave tours at Cathedral Caverns State Park cost $20 for adults, $18 for military, $9 for children ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and under.

How long is the tour at Cathedral Caverns?

Cave tours at Cathedral Caverns State Park last about 90 minutes and cover a walk of about 1.5 miles.

Are dogs allowed at Cathedral Caverns?

While pets are allowed at the state park, they are not allowed on the cave tour or inside the park buildings.

Where to Stay in Huntsville, Alabama

Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Huntsville, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.

More Things To Do in Huntsville, Alabama

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Ready to visit Huntsville, Alabama? Plan your trip with these tips.



Exploring Alabama's Cathedral Caverns State Park

Have you visited Cathedral Caverns State Park? Let me know in the comments!

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