The Kentucky Caver Quarterly Proceedings of the
Bluegrass Grotto: the North Central Kentucky Area Chapter of the National Speleological Society
Page 09 [contents] ||   ||  ||
 vol. 41. iss. 3, September 2006
Mammoth Cave National Park, and it is neighbor to the long-closed, often-rumored Cub Run Cave, which was re-opened after a half-century this past July.


To get to the fanciful new Cub Run Cave visitors center-gift shop-restaurant from Lexington KY, take the Bluegrass Parkway to I-65 at Elizabethtown, head south, and take Exit 65, to Munfordville. Turn left/south from the exit ramp onto 31W into Munfordville, and after about a mile, at an intersection with a bank, turn right onto KY 88. Go 15 miles on 88 (Two miles past the bustling Amish burg of Cub Run) and you’ll see the faux wilderness lodge Cub Run “facility” on the left. Get your tickets (NOT caver-cheap, but they offer discounts for groups), and wait for a bus in the breezeway that will take you down a steep hill (above the cave route), to the entrance for your 1.5 hour tour.

The cave is presently entered by way of a small gated hole at the foot of a slope next to a dammed-up pond (a second entrance is in the works halfway back to the facility, to make the trip one-way and faster). They have done a bit of blasting and good old-fashioned pick-axing to chew out a wider tourist entry tunnel. Past that, you are in a big stream passage – on a massive pine wood

platform and walkway above the stream. This 2500 foot long wooden walkway must be a regional marvel of wooden engineering, with its wooden pillars supporting the structure as it winds through extremely beautiful, well-decorated, and untouched cave rooms up the big stream passage.

Our tour group was small – just three visitors, plus a cheery young guide; and the trailer a local man who helped dig and build this new tourist attraction. I was sweaty with apprehension as they each reacted in their grim negative ways to my being from New York State, but we ended up having a fine time chatting as we walked along this beautiful suspended bridge to its present end-point – it will continue, and it will branch in two, the main route along the stream continuing and the side-walkway headed into a low-ceilinged highly decorated upper level.

The guide spoke with airy mouthings about cave conservation (it was a great big green point that each piece of wood was sawn outside the cave and then carried in, as opposed to being sawn inside the cave).

However, my overall awe and delight at the beauty and majesty of the cave was somewhat distracted by wondering this:

With the advice of cave experts from WKU and the nearby example of Mammoth Cave, where great effort is being expended to remove all wood and to replace it with non-biodegrading materials for walkways, due to the negative impacts of decaying wood on cave biota and water quality, the Cub Run Cave owners decided to use new, resinous, rapidly biodegrading, highly impactful

Page 09 [contents] ||   ||  ||