Originally called Bat Cave, Cathedral Caverns was opened to the public by Jacob Gurley in the 1950's. The cave was renamed because of its cathedral-like appearance. Purchased by the state in 1987, it was opened as a State Park in the summer of 2000. The first feature most people notice about Cathedral Caverns is its massive entrance. The huge opening measures 126 feet wide and 25 feet high, a possible world record for commercial caves. The grand entrance is only the beginning. Inside the cavern are some of the most beautiful formations Mother Nature has ever created including “Goliath”- one of the largest stalagmites in the world measuring 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference. Cathedral Caverns features many amazing sites: a "caveman" perched atop a flowstone wall, a "frozen" waterfall, a large stalagmite forest and a most improbable stone formation - a stalagmite that is 27 feet tall and 3 inches wide!
The cave maintains a comfortable 60 degrees temperature year round; which makes it an excellent field trip for school, church or other groups. The park itself encompasses 493 acres, and there are marked hiking trails available for those wanting to enjoy the outdoors.
Cave tours are scheduled throughout the day. The cave is also wheelchair accessible. Just click on "Cave Tour" under "Things To Do" for a complete listing of tour times and prices. In addition to cave tours, Cathedral Caverns State Park also features gemstone mining, an activity for any age, but especially popular with younger visitors. A bag or bucket of mining dirt (seeded with either rough cut gemstones or fossils) is purchased and then sifted through running water in custom-made flumes. You can identify your finds using the gemstone identification display.
The Park now offers improved campsites along with primitive tent camping areas. A bathhouse is available and located near the campsites. A back country campsite is available for those wishing to backpack and hike in. There are 2 large picnic pavilions available near the Welcome Center.
Cathedral Caverns is a short drive from several great north Alabama attractions including: Lake Guntersville, Monte Sano, Desoto and Buck’s Pocket State Parks, Scottsboro, Huntsville, and the Marshall Space Flight Center.