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Cathedral Caverns Bat Cave: Woodville, Alabama

Updated on April 17, 2017

Touring The Cave

Cathedral Caverns is also known as "Bats Cave." It was begun and maintained in the 50s by a man by the name of Jay Gurley. The caverns have been a tourist attraction since 1989. They continue to be popular with visitors from many different states, as well as our own state. This is a great place to visit in Alabama that is not too far from Birmingham. I thought it was a well know secret. There are many places to visit in Alabama that could easily be a great day trip. It is good to listen to the tour guide as you are going through the cave. They can tell you facts about the cave that you might not know.

The cave itself offers guided tours that explains the history of the caverns. The caverns are equipped with concrete walkways and is wheelchair accessible. The cavern tour is great for all ages.

Other than the cave tour, the park also offers some other activities as well.

Some of these attractions include:

Camping out in the woods, fishing, picnics and gem mining and a concession stand. It's a great day for adults and children alike. Camping is primitive and is $13.00. There's no electricity, there are port-ta-toilets near by as well as a public water spigot. There's also a fire pit at each cleared off camp site.

This park is located in Marshall County and is the most beautiful state park. This cave holds several world records and was name as a US National Landmark in 1972. You can record video and take photos during your cave tour.

Two Fun Facts:

1. The Disney movie Tom and Huck was filmed here in the cave.

2. Photography for the Horror Film entitled: Secrets of the Phantom Cavern took place in these caves.

Come on in.... with a flashlight

The largest commercial cave opening in the world is located at Cathedral Caverns. It is 25 feet tall and 128 feet wide.
The largest commercial cave opening in the world is located at Cathedral Caverns. It is 25 feet tall and 128 feet wide. | Source

State Park Facts

1. Widest Cave Entrance: Cathedral Caverns has the widest entrance of any commercial cave on the planet. It is twenty five feet tall and one hundred twenty eight feet wide.

2. National Landmark: Cathedral Caverns has been declared a National Natural Landmark since 1972.

3. Largest Stellagmite: The Caverns has the largest column ever measured and it is called Goliath. It measures 243 feet in circumference and 45 feet tall.

4. Biggest Frozen Waterfall: It is 32 feet tall and 135 feet long and is frozen solid. This is largest flow stone wall.

5. Most Improbable Formation: This is stalagmite which rises at a unique 45 degree angle from a ceiling rock formation that is 25 feet tall.

6. Largest Column: The largest column is named Goliath.

Location of Cathedral Caverns

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Camping and Fishing

Camp Sites: There are several camp sites around the park where you can pitch a tent. You will want to bring your sleeping bags and camping gear. Feel free to camp in the designated areas around the park, the caverns and around the lake. This is a camp ground for tents only, campers and fires however, are not allowed. You may want to check for any other restrictions before you go.

Fishing Lake: The park/caverns also have a lake that you can relax by and do some fishing. Here you will have to fish from the pier or from the bank. Unfortunately, there's not a boat launch but, feel free to bring you lawn chairs and enjoy a day of fishing from the sides of the bank.

Enjoy a Day At The Park

State parks are abundant in Alabama. Cathedral Caverns is just one of the many parks with Caves located in the south.
State parks are abundant in Alabama. Cathedral Caverns is just one of the many parks with Caves located in the south. | Source

Gift Shop and Concessions

Concessions

The concession stand sells water, sodas, hamburgers, hot dogs,chips and nachos.



Gift Shop

This store sells shirts, and other souvenirs relating to the park. One of the neatest things about this gift shop, is that they sell many stellagtites to custormers.

The gift shop and concession stand are side by side. As you walk up to the front, there's a large front porch with rocking chairs. Here you find visitors taking in the scenery and rocking in the rocking chairs.

Camp Out and Stay For a While

Camp sites are located all around the caverns with fishing available.
Camp sites are located all around the caverns with fishing available. | Source

Stalactites Abound!

Cave tours last one hour and the tour guide shares the rich history from inside the cavern.
Cave tours last one hour and the tour guide shares the rich history from inside the cavern. | Source

Final Thoughts

There are some real pros and cons to visiting this park. While the park is in Alabama the beautiful and the scenery doesn't disappoint there are other things here at the park that I feel could be improved upon.

I like the fact that you can camp here but, you can only sleep in tents and can't bring a camper and you can't have a camp fire. If you truly love to rough it, then bring on the camping.

The lake is beautiful and I understand the need to want to preserve it so, for incoming visitors just know that you have to fish from the bank which can be just as fun but, it would be neat to be able to rent a paddle boat or canoe to fish in or to just explore the lake.

The concession stand doesn't serve a lot of different foods but, it is neat that they offer food at all but, they also will let you bring your own coolers in with your favorite food and drinks.

This is really a beautiful place to visit and there's so much history here. The fact that this is the largest entrance or opening to a cave is almost hard to imagine until you see it for yourself. This truly lets you know how small you are in the scheme of things.

It is an added bonus that the gift shop sells small pieces of stellagtites.

Inside The " Bat Cave"

Cathedral Caverns has a large wooded area that surrounds the actual cavern.
Cathedral Caverns has a large wooded area that surrounds the actual cavern. | Source

A Look Inside The Cave

Alabama's Other State Park Caverns

1. DeSoto Caverns State Park

2. Rickwood Caverns State Park

3. The Dismal Canyons

8x8 Domed Tent on Amazon

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago from Texas

      Alabama is a state of mine. If you read my hub about the Blue Hole, which is in Alabama and is the true story of me almost drowning.

      This reminds me of where I lived. Voted up, UABI, shared and pinned to my Amazing HubPages Board.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      What a lovely visit to the caves and it sounds like a wonderful place to go camping. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow that is something else! Thanks for sharing. Hope everyone watches the videos.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      Great article. I would love to go camping there!