Paint Rock News

The Town of Paint Rock, Jackson County, Alabama

USA LONGEST CAVES by STATE
















 LENGTHDEPTHDEPTH   
#CAVE  NAMESTATECOUNTYMILESMETERSFEETMETERSSOURCEDATE 
  
Alabama  Alabama       
1Fern Cave                           (597)AlabamaJackson15.63025154536163.4Fern Cave Project1995 
2Anvil Cave                           (279)AlabamaMorgan12.667203865115.5Alabama Cave Survey04/80 
3Russell Cave   (N.M.)        (169)AlabamaJackson7.57612192400121.9Deep Caves of TAG, John Stembel10/01 
4Guffey Cave                        (317)AlabamaMarshall6.198997521064.0Alabama Cave Survey1994 
5Tumbling Rock Cave             (171)     (Saltpeter)AlabamaJackson6.0229691454138.4Georgia Underground V32N4P38]09/96 
6Guess (Creek) Cave             (594)     (Saltpeter)AlabamaJackson5.9369553309.1Alabama Cave Survey03/85 
7Engle Double Pit                   (266)AlabamaJackson4.5987400520158.5Alabama Cave Survey1975 
8Jess Elliot Cave                    (323)AlabamaJackson4.368703014744.81998 NSS Conventon08/98 
9Montague Cave                     (379)AlabamaJackson4.2206791406123.7Deep Caves of TAG, John Stembel10/01 
10Falling Spring Cave               (1302)AlabamaJackson4.005644510030.5ACS04/80 
11Carns Cave                          (441)AlabamaJackson3.509564700.0Bill Torode12/83 
12Anderson Cave                     (357)AlabamaShelby3.37354289027.4ACS04/80 
13Moore Caven                        (426)AlabamaMorgan3.2205182309.1ACS04/80 
14Keeton Cave                         (446)    (Saltpeter)AlabamaColbert3.13250408024.4ACS04/80 
15Limrock Blowing Cave            (311)AlabamaJackson2.9364725278.21996 SERA Guidebook P20-2107/96 
16Sauta (Blowing Wind) Cave    (50)     (Saltpeter)AlabamaJackson2.802450915045.7Bill Varnedoe e-mail06/99 
17Microwave-A-Hole System      (1927)AlabamaJackson2.6524268500152.4ACS03/85 
18Long Island Cave                   (1300)   (Saltpeter)AlabamaJackson2.60641949127.7ACS01/98 
19Tallucah Cave                        (47)      (Saltpeter)AlabamaMorgan2.60641949027.4ACS08/87 
20Lamons Cave                         (214)AlabamaMorgan2.56641308024.4ACS08/87 
21Old Blowing Cave                   (505)AlabamaMarshall2.546409710030.5ACSJun-05 
22Tony Sinks - Cox Cave           (78)AlabamaJackson2.3673809570173.7Georgia Underground V32N4P3709/96 
23Kennamer Cave                     (490)AlabamaJackson2.326374320061.0ACS08/87 
24Canyon Cave                         (1000)AlabamaJackson2.320373430091.4ACS08/87 
25Gary Self Pit                          (290)AlabamaJackson2.3143724560170.7ACS08/87 
26Salt River Cave                       (221)AlabamaJackson2.28936848024.4ACS07/86 
27War Eagle Cave                     (565)AlabamaJackson2.244361115747.9ACS08/87 
28Talley Ditch Cave                    (248)AlabamaJackson2.2193571278.2ACS08/87 
29Cave Spring Cave                   (53)AlabamaMorgan2.095337200.0ACS08/87 
30Cathedral Cave                       (165)AlabamaMarshall2.086335712437.8ACSJun-05 
31Hughes Cave                          (157)    (Saltpeter)AlabamaMorgan2.08533559127.7ACSJun-05 
32Dry Creek Cave                      (276)AlabamaJackson2.0833352206.1ACS08/87 
33Key Cave                               (99)AlabamaLauderdale2.0743338278.2ACS08/87 
34Perkins Cave                           (348)AlabamaMadison2.064332215045.7ACSJun-05 
35Geiger Cave / Houston Hollow   (459)AlabamaJackson2.0633320360109.7Deep Caves of TAG, John Stembel10/01 
36Gross-Skeleton Cave                (224)AlabamaJackson2.008323212036.6ACSJun-05 
37Stanley Carden Cave                (730)AlabamaDekalb2.007323013641.5ACSJun-05 
38Wheeler Saltpeter Cave            (163)AlabamaJackson2.00032194413.4Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
39Poplar Cave                             (340)AlabamaMorgan1.993320723170.4Tom Moss09/89 
40Hering Cave                             (6)AlabamaMadison1.97531784012.2ACS04/80 
41Hans Kennamer Cave              (3268)AlabamaMadison1.8943048309.1ACSJun-05 
42Paint Rock River Cave            (2934)AlabamaJackson1.8172924539164.3Deep Caves of TAG, John Stembel10/01 
43McBride's Cave                      (1345)AlabamaJackson1.7532821513156.4Georgia Underground V32N4P3809/96 
44Doodlebug Hole / Blowing Cave (195)AlabamaJackson1.7272779510155.4ACS04/80 
45Wolf Cave                               (192)  (Saltpeter)AlabamaMorgan1.72727799127.7ACS04/80 
46Turtle Cave                              (198)AlabamaMorgan1.72727799127.7ACS08/87 
47Illiad / Odyessy Cave System    (1568)AlabamaJackson1.6632676493150.3ACS03/95 
48Halbrook Cave                          (416)AlabamaMarshall1.6232612278.2ACS04/80 
49Scott's Barn Cave / Bloodstone  (907)AlabamaJackson1.5362472563171.6Tom Moss12/95 
50Cairn Blowhole (Pit)                  (2290)AlabamaJackson1.5152438460140.2Georgia Underground V32N4P3809/96 
51Hairy Pit / Flowing Spring Cave  (847)AlabamaJackson1.5152438450137.2Georgia Underground V32N4P3809/96 
52Dowells Deep Six Cave              (517)AlabamaMorgan1.477237718054.9ACS04/80 
53Chapel Cave                             (208)AlabamaMorgan1.43423086018.3ACS08/87 
54Eudy Cave                               (107) (Saltpeter)AlabamaMarshall1.4302301278.2ACS04/80 
55Roaring River Cave                   (1031)AlabamaMarshall1.40422607021.3ACS04/80 
56Birchfield Cave                          (1458)AlabamaJackson1.38422275015.2ACSJun-05 
57Stewart Spring Cave                 (871)AlabamaDeKalb1.3792219278.2ACS04/80 
58Glover Cave                             (54)AlabamaMadison1.326213400.0ACS04/80 
59Graves Cave                            (1200)AlabamaBlount1.301209410532.0ACS04/80 
60Peacock Cave                         (581)AlabamaJackson1.29220795015.2GSS01/79 
61Sequoyah Cave                       (333)  (Saltpeter)AlabamaDeKalb1.2922079278.2ACS01/98 
62Stolen Well / Davis Cove Cave  (1518)AlabamaJackson1.2912078528160.9Georgia Underground V29N309/92 
63Ashmore Spring Cave                (1827)AlabamaJackson1.291207813440.8ACSJun-05 
64Honeycomb Cave                      (36)  (Saltpeter)AlabamaMarshall1.2682041278.2ACSJun-05 
65Alabama/Georgia Cave             (3647)AlabamaDekalb1.231198120462.2Brent Aulenbach e-mail06/01 
66Windy River Cave                    (1349)AlabamaJackson1.2261973164.9ACS04/80 
67Ivy Hollow Cave                        (8)     (Saltpeter)AlabamaLawrence1.221196500.0ACS04/80 
68Bloody Elbow CaveAlabamaMadison1.2021934558170.1Julie Schenck BrownMay-06 
69McKinney Pit Cave                   (629)AlabamaColbert1.19819286018.3ACSJun-05 
70Blue River Cave                        (177)  (Saltpeter)AlabamaJackson1.18018996018.3ACS04/80 
71Hortons Mill Cave                       (1387)AlabamaBlount1.169188100.0ACSJun-05 
72Bear-Hanna Cave                     (2100)AlabamaJackson1.1611868488148.7Georgia Underground V32N4P3806/96 
73Bucks Pocket Cave                      (432)AlabamaJackson1.1361828430131.1ACSJun-05 
74McCallie Cave                           (1666)AlabamaJackson1.136182817553.3ACSJun-05 
75Henshaw Spring Cave                (966)AlabamaJackson1.13618288024.4ACSJun-05 
76Weaver - Lady Cave                 (18)AlabamaCalhoun1.136182800.0NSS News06/89 
77Allen (Switch, Stewart) Cave      (781)AlabamaDeKalb1.11918019428.7ACS08/87 
78Log Cave                                 (223)AlabamaMorgan1.116179611635.4ACS04/80 
79Mill Hole                                   (745)AlabamaJackson1.1141793431131.4Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
80Mrs Millers Cave                       (1500)AlabamaMorgan1.094176115045.7ACS04/80 
81Dan Morton Cave                      (2359)AlabamaBlount1.0761732206.1ACSJun-05 
82Talley Cave                                   (443)AlabamaDeKalb1.075173000.0ACS04/80 
83The Kids Cave                              (2410)AlabamaJackson1.0421677530161.5NSS News06/89 
84Buckeye Cave                              (779)AlabamaJackson1.0341664457139.3Georgia Underground V24N103/87 
85Colliers Slough Bone Cave            (1328)AlabamaLauderdale1.0111627329.8ACS04/80 
86Savor it Well                                (2591)AlabamaMadison1.004161630091.4Georgia Underground V32N4P3909/96 
87Robert Dale Clark Cave                 (1100)AlabamaMarshall1.004161620061.0ACS04/80 
88Indian Rock Cave                          (535)AlabamaJackson1.004161610030.5ACS04/80 
89MOS Cave / Obscure Magnificence (2697)AlabamaJackson1.0011611603183.8Deep Caves of TAG, J.Stembel10/01 
90Small Cave                                  (1096)AlabamaJackson0.9571540513156.4Georgia Underground V24N103/87 
DEPTHElmos Canyon                             (1735)AlabamaJackson0.9301497512156.1Georgia Underground V32N4P3709/96 
DEPTHFowler Pit 2 / Bleeding Ghyll Cave (655)AlabamaJackson0.9181477497151.5Alabama Cave Survey03/85 
DEPTHMad As A Wet Hen Pit                 (2147)AlabamaJackson0.8601384502153.0Deep Caves of TAG, John Stembel10/01 
DEPTHGuy's Cave                                 (1078)AlabamaJackson0.8201320468142.6ACS1985 
DEPTHTrice Hollow Pit                           (2012)AlabamaJackson0.7621226411125.3Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
DEPTHPotential Pit / Langston Cave        (1558)AlabamaJackson0.7581220510155.4Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
DEPTHAin't No Cave                              (2312)AlabamaJackson0.7421194549167.3Speleo DigestDec-07 
DEPTHBlunder Hole                               (3333)AlabamaJackson0.7201159453138.1Georgia Underground V31N4P311/95 
DEPTHSummers Double Pot                   (1538)AlabamaJackson0.6361024512156.1Georgia Underground V32N4P3709/96 
DEPTHBennett Cove Cave                    (2174)AlabamaJackson0.613987435132.6ACSJun-05 
DEPTHJim Cave                                    (273)AlabamaJackson0.585941432131.7Georgia Underground V32N4P3809/96 
DEPTHWater Well                                 (1747)AlabamaJackson0.554892402122.5Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
DEPTHStoned Well                               (1578)AlabamaJackson0.511822498151.8Alabama Cave Survey03/85 
DEPTHMega Well                                (2310)AlabamaJackson0.506814400121.9ACSJun-05 
DEPTHBird Horror Hole                         (2508)AlabamaJackson0.443713447136.2Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
DEPTHDark Well                                   (1945)AlabamaJackson0.439707421128.3Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
DEPTHTwenty Three Dollar Pit               (996)AlabamaJackson0.380612432131.7Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
DEPTHWalking Fern Pit                         (1598)AlabamaJackson0.376605447136.2Georgia Underground V32N4P3809/96 
DEPTHThunder Hole                              (1435)AlabamaJackson0.323520460140.2Georgia Underground V32N4P3809/96 
DEPTHWash Pot                                   (1353)AlabamaJackson0.321517453138.1Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
DEPTHVast Caverns                              (1860)AlabamaJackson0.305491417127.1Georgia Underground V29N3P18-1909/92 
DEPTHWill's Welch Well                        (1748)AlabamaJackson0.253407410125.0Deep Caves of TAG, John Stembel10/01

Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc. Preserves in Alabama

Fern Cave
National Wildlife Refuge
2700 Refuge Headquarters Road
Decatur, AL   35609
E-mail: mailto:%20wheeler@fws.gov
Phone Number: 256-353-7243
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
http://www.fws.gov/ferncave/
Fern Cave NWR is named after the endangered American Hart's Tongue fern but is also home to other endangered species like the Grey bat and Indiana bat.

New Fern Cave with Hubert Crowell

May 15, 1971, John Van Swearinger IV introduced us to New Fern Cave. John Wallace, Bill Meier and I were excited to see what all the cavers in the nation were talking about at the time. A huge cave system had been discovered in north Alabama. Vertical cavers from all over north America were coming to drop the deepest pit at that time in the eastern United States, Fern Cave.

The Fern Cave System is located in the west side of Nat Mountain in North Alabama. Fern Cave was discovered June 4, 1961 by Jim Johnston, Bill Torode, Louis Fox, Chris Kroger, and Butch Dill. It consists mostly of Surprise Pit, 437-foot deep and more than 200 feet long.

Morgue Cave was discovered June 9, 1968 by Bob Clark, John Cole, Jim Johnston, Don Myrick, Arch Swank and Lynne Swank. It consists of several pits 100 to 200-foot deep. The Morgue is a hibernating and nursery cave for roughly 50% of the entire Gray Bat species and perhaps 75% of the Gray Bat population in the south United States.

On January 11, 1969, New Fern Cave was discovered by Jim Johnston and is commonly referred to as the Johnston Entrance to the Fern Cave System. New Fern Cave consists of more than 15 miles of horizontal cave with three main levels connected by pits and canyons.

New Fern Cave was connected to the Morgue in January of 1969 and in April of that same year the lower level of New Fern Cave was reached. There was found evidence of pasts visit to the cave by torch barriers and large animals, some that are now extinct. Searches were made for a lower entrance, but none has been found. Caving in the Fern Cave System involves a long hike up Nat Mountain or if you know the roads, a drive to the top and a hike down to the entrances. It seemed strange to climb the outside of the mountain then go inside and climb back down the inside of the mountain.

Finely on October 10, 1971, the lower stream passages of Fern Cave and New Fern Cave was connected by digging out a stream in the cold water. This completed the Fern Cave System by connecting the three main caves and a few minor ones on the mountain. The map and most of the exploration of the Fern Cave System were completed Bill Torode and members of the Huntsville Grotto.

Our group consisted of horizontal cavers, only getting involved in vertical work when there was no other possibility. We made several trips in 1971, 1972 and 1973, at a time when the last discoveries were being made and the mapping was completed. I experimented with some movie taking in the cave but was not pleased with the results, which can be viewed on my web site. One scene does show the Elephant ears shortly after being broken and on the first trip and I have a picture of the Elephant ears before being broken with John Van Swearingern IV and John Wallace.

On November 20, 1971, we made our second trip into New Fern Cave, we would park by the river at the foot of the mountain and hike up to the Johnston Entrance. Just inside the entrance there is a drop of about eight feet where a wooden ladder was installed.

We continued to the southeast to the Upper Formation Rooms filled with helectites growing in all directions. We also visited the Red Lilly Pad Room. The room had round formations that looked like Lilly Pads in a pool of water and some of them had stalagmites growing up from the center.

The helectites are formed when the wind blows through the cave forcing the water droplets to blow off the sides of the formations, leaving mineral deposits. At different times the wind blows in different directions causing the odd shapes.

After exploring many of the formations areas, we continued south to the Elephant Ears and the Green Passage. The Green Passage is a smaller crawl and walking passage that leads to the Blowing Hole. The Blowing Hole is a short cut to the middle level of the cave. Bill Torode cleared the dirt from around the hole, placed a bolt in the wall and installed a cable ladder. The hole is about four feet around and an easy place to belay climbers as they go down the ladder. The last person down has to be belayed from below with the rope going up and through the carabineer at the bolt.

At the bottom of the middle level we continued down the canyon of the Gold Passage to the Crystal Room with large five inch gypsum crystals that jut out from the wall. The wall is more than ten feet high and almost as wide with these crystals side by side all over the wall. The crystals are pointed with smooth sides making the most striking formation room that I have ever seen. From the Crystal Room we continued to the Balcony Room. You literally can set on the edge of a balcony and look into a huge round room about eighty feet high and contains a massive flow stone called Myrick's Monument that reaches from the bottom to the top of the room.

On July 21, 1973, I returned with Jack Pace and we spent eight hours exploring up stream from the Johnston Entrance. We passed the second dome and climbed over a ledge and into virgin cave. The room had many soda straws and helectites and no tracks or signs that anyone had been there. We left the formation room and reentered the stream passage at survey mark #18, just to the left of a dry stream bed.

On October 20, 1973, John Wallace, Jack Pace and I returned and went directly down to the Green Passage and the Blowing Hole. We continued to the Lunch Room, then climbed down the water fall drop rigging a rope for the return climb. We noted the white glacier flow stone and the small cave pearls. We climbed down into the first Big Room and after exploring it exited the cave after another eight-hour trip.

About the Author: Hubert Crowell, Cave Explorer

I have started writing as a hobby and plan to write about my life, work, hobbies, religion and many other things of interest to me and maybe others will enjoy also.

For more information on caving, improving your service department and many other subjects, Please visit my web site at:

http://hubertcrowell.name/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Hubert_Crowell

Hubert Crowell - EzineArticles Expert Author

Jacobs Mountain Preserve

The SCCi is excited to announce our newest lease acquisition, the Jacobs Mountain Preserve. Located in Jackson County, Alabama, Jacobs Mountain features 65 known caves that have been closed for many years. Eighteen of the caves are considered significant, including Paint Rock River Cave, Guess Cave, Norsemans Well, Torode Pit, Williams Saltpeter Cave, Halley's Hole and many, many more. See below for a list of all of the caves on the preserve.

SCCi members may receive a permit to visit the property at any time except 2 weeks prior to and during deer gun hunting season. If you're not a member of the SCCi, membership in the SCCi is available for as little as $25 per year for a regular membership, or $10 per month for sustaining membership. Visit the Preserve Permit Request page to learn more about how to get a permit. You can use the Preserve Calendar to help plan your trip. For more information, contact the SCCi Property Management Committee at jacobsmountain@scci.org

Jacbos Mountain Caves

Left: Paint Rock River Cave, Right: Halley's Hole. Photos by John Van Swearingen IV

Caves on the Jacobs Mountain preserve:

Preserve Caves

Alpha Pit
Williams Saltpeter Cave
Guess Cave
Torode Pit
Fortyeight Ten Cave
Sawyers Cave
Jacobs Well
Shop Sink Cave
Deweys Cave
Tommy's Cave
Alpha Cave
Beta Cave
Gamma Cave
Shake Well
Terrible Tommy Cave
September Twenty-six Pit
Mirkwood Caverns
Wotring Hole
Geode in the Rock Pit
Round Knob Pit
Real Fine Pit
Raintree Pit
Norsemans Well
Climbin Fool Cave
Norsemans Double Pot
Upper Norsemans Cave
High Hopes Hole
Upper Miller Cove Cave
Williams Cove Cave
Miniature Dam Pit
Green Boulder Grotto
Hurt Tree Pit
Willie Well
Wee Willie Well
Upper Shop Sink Cave
Audible Ants Hole
The Shaft
Halley's Hole
Headache Hole
Threwer Point Plunge
Wind Fizzle Cave
Gang Bangor Cave
Poplar Hollow Cave
Classic Rock Shelter
In the Out Cave
Hopper Hole
Dible Well
Paint Rock River Cave
Rainmaker Canyon
Letchergilla Cave
Mother of all Horror
Little Shop of Chicken Heads
Scenic Cave
Brewer Sewer
Doosher Dome
Generic Pit
Comet Hale-Bopp Pit
Torn Flesh Pit
Flowstone Wall Pit
Megaroot Pit
Light Sabre Pit
Detached Slab Cave
Scorpion Pit
A Twist of Fate Pit
Little Cave

Acreage: Leased in Jackson County, Alabama.
Property Managers: Alan Cressler and Brian Killingbeck (jacobsmountain@scci.org)
Access: Permit Required. Contact the property management team for details.

Commercial Use Statement
The Board of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) reaffirms its standing policy that bans the commercial use of our properties, and specifically, prohibits any activity where a charge of any type is made. Should you have any questions, contact the SCCi Chair at chair@scci.org .

Limrock Blowing Cave Preserve

On August 26, 2003 the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. announced thepurchase of Limrock Blowing Cave (AJK311), Jackson County, Alabama. The Limrock Preserve includes the cave entrance and approx. 48 acres. This purchase is the culmination of more than three years of efforts by SCCi Directors Bill Putnam and Mark Wolinsky to acquire the cave. Limrock Blowing Cave is Alabama’s 15th longest cave, with a surveyed length of 15,505 feet of primarily horizontal passage. This acquisition is the SCCi’s 23rd preserve and its 52nd cave! 

Entrance  to Limrock Blowi


  
  g Cave

NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of the deadly White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting                 bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy and follow these guidelines                         before visiting Limrock Cave:

  • Before and after visiting the Preserve, thoroughly clean and decontaminate all                           clothing, footwear or gear that has been previously used in a cave in Rhode Island,                    Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky (or in a WNS-Affected State prior to 2006), following the procedures outlined in the latest                    USFWS guidelines (see Attachment 2)..
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that you cannot adequately decontaminate.
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that has been used since January 1,                         2006 in any cave in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and/or West Virginia, regardless of decontamination                      protocols followed.

NOTICE: DO NOT park near the barn when visiting Limrock cave, no matter what you are                    told. SCCi does not own the barn or the field beside it. If you park there, you car may                         be towed away. We have constructed a new parking area on the SCCi property for use                       by visitors.  If there are too many cars and you cannot find an acceptable place to park,                       please go elsewhere and visit another day. Your cooperation is appreciated.

 

Limrock Blowing

Rimstone Dams in Limrock Blowing Cave. Photo by Nathan Williams.

The cave management plan is similar to that used at most other SCCi preserves. The property manager is Tommy Royston of Huntsville, Alabama. 

When visiting the preserve, please park in the designated parking rea on the SCCi property.                  Do not park at the barn or field uphill from the cave. 

Visitors are warned that in heavy rains the cave floods completely. The SCCi requests that cavers not enter the cave when rain is in the forecast. Flooding can occur very quickly and with little               or no warning!

The purchase price, survey and closing costs for the property totaled $54,356.39.We were                  able to pay off the $40,000 mortgage in large part because of our Sustaining Members.                       The stable monthly income allows the SCCi to buy even more caves that we all love and                       enjoy. Please consider joining the SCCi as a Sustaining Member.  For as little as $10 a                            month you can be a cave owner. For information on SCCi Sustaining Membership, see                          our Sustaining page or contact Sustaining Membership manager Bill Stringfellow at                                sustaining@scci.org. Regular memberships are also available for $25 per year.

On behalf of the directors, we thank all of you for your continued confidence and support                    of our so very important mission.

Acreage: 49.34 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Property Manager: Tommy Royston (limrock@scci.org)
Access: Open. 12 person group size limit. Please park in the SCCi parking area only.                                     See the management plan for details.

Long Island Cove Preserve

The SCCi is pleased to announce our newest Cave Preserve in Jackson County, Alabama, by means of a lease agreement. The SCCi has entered into an agreement to lease Long Island Cove, located on the west flank of Sand Mountain on the Tennessee River. The Long Island Cove Preserve is home to 10 known caves with highlights including Deep Well, Not-So-Deep Well and Long Island Saltpeter Cave.

Deep Well, an impressive 292 foot deep shaft, is the deepest open air pit in TAG. Its sister pit, Not-So-Deep Well, is an equally impressive 253 feet in depth. Long Island Saltpeter Cave is a historically significant cave, visited by General Rosencrans troops and mined for saltpeter during the Civil War; it contains hundreds of historical signatures. This property has been officially closed to cavers since 2007, but thanks to the efforts of Jay Clark and others, the SCCi is able to return access to cavers.

The Long Island Cove Preserve will provide SCCi membership with permitted access to the entire preserve. In addition to the 10 known caves, there are multiple springs, a large creek, a blue hole and abundant wildlife. The expansive property will also be available for camping throughout the preserve. Management of the preserve will be handled on a permit system by the Long Island Cove Preserve Committee.

The preserve is open for visitation only during the dates announced by the SCCi on the Long Island Cove Preserve page on this website. Cavers wishing to visit the preserve must contact the property managers and provide advance notice of their visit. They will then be provided with the gate combination and access information. This preserve will require that all visitors be current members of the SCCi. We are confident that cavers will understand and respect this policy. Large groups (more than 16 people) need to request special permission at least two weeks in advance.

Acreage: Lease/management agreement in Jackson County, Alabama.
Property Managers: Brad Tipton and Buddy Lane (longisland@scci.org)
Access: SCCi membership and advance notification required. See the management plan for details.

Long Island Cove Preserve

The SCCi is pleased to announce our newest Cave Preserve in Jackson County, Alabama, by means of a lease agreement. The SCCi has entered into an agreement to lease Long Island Cove, located on the west flank of Sand Mountain on the Tennessee River. The Long Island Cove Preserve is home to 10 known caves with highlights including Deep Well, Not-So-Deep Well and Long Island Saltpeter Cave.

Deep Well, an impressive 292 foot deep shaft, is the deepest open air pit in TAG. Its sister pit, Not-So-Deep Well, is an equally impressive 253 feet in depth. Long Island Saltpeter Cave is a historically significant cave, visited by General Rosencrans troops and mined for saltpeter during the Civil War; it contains hundreds of historical signatures. This property has been officially closed to cavers since 2007, but thanks to the efforts of Jay Clark and others, the SCCi is able to return access to cavers.

The Long Island Cove Preserve will provide SCCi membership with permitted access to the entire preserve. In addition to the 10 known caves, there are multiple springs, a large creek, a blue hole and abundant wildlife. The expansive property will also be available for camping throughout the preserve. Management of the preserve will be handled on a permit system by the Long Island Cove Preserve Committee.

The preserve is open for visitation only during the dates announced by the SCCi on the Long Island Cove Preserve page on this website. Cavers wishing to visit the preserve must contact the property managers and provide advance notice of their visit. They will then be provided with the gate combination and access information. This preserve will require that all visitors be current members of the SCCi. We are confident that cavers will understand and respect this policy. Large groups (more than 16 people) need to request special permission at least two weeks in advance.

Acreage: Lease/management agreement in Jackson County, Alabama.
Property Managers: Brad Tipton and Buddy Lane (longisland@scci.org)
Access: SCCi membership and advance notification required. See the management plan for details.

The full management plan is available on the SCCi web site. If you have any questions about the cave or the access policy, you may contact the property managers at longisland@scci

Neversink Cave Preserve

New! Please read property manager Alan Cressler's article about the Neversink management plan that was updated in January 2011. It includes very important information about rig points. Contact the property managers at neversink@scci.org with questions.

On Tuesday, December 5 1995, the Southeastern Cave Conservancy became the owner of the classic TAG pit, Neversink. Neversink is a beautiful 162 foot open air pit in Jackson County Alabama. Long known and loved by TAG cavers, the cave is considered by many to be the classic TAG pit. It is probably the most photographed pit in TAG due to the beautiful fern covered ledges (including some rare and endangered ferns), waterfalls, and other features. The pit is about 40 feet in diameter at the top and bells out to 100 feet in diameter at the bottom. It has been featured in countless slide shows and has been pictured in many publications including the NSS News, various convention guidebooks, and the cover of Bob Thrun's book Prusiking.

 Neversink

Photo by John Van Swearingen IV.


Neversink.
  Van Swearingen IV.

NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of the deadly White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy and follow these guidelines before visiting Neversink:

  • Before and after visiting the Preserve, thoroughly clean and decontaminate all clothing, footwear or gear that has been previously used in a cave in Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky (or in a WNS-Affected State prior to 2006), following the procedures outlined in the latest USFWS guidelines (see Attachment 2)..
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that you cannot adequately decontaminate.
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that has been used since January 1, 2006 in any cave in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and/or West Virginia, regardless of decontamination protocols followed.

The pit was closed in 1993 due to a change of ownership. The new owner was concerned about liability and about disturbance of the water pipe from the spring above the pit. The spring is the only reliable water supply for a home at the bottom of the mountain.

The SCCi was already in negotiations to buy the pit when it was sold in 1993 to another buyer who bypassed the real estate agent. We then made contact with the new owner and entered into negotiations to buy the pit from him. After much work, an agreement was reached. We began raising money to pay for the cave. At the eleventh hour the owner had second thoughts and decided to sell the land to the person using the spring. We then made contact with that person, and were eventually able to reach a agreement to buy the cave from him in return for a guarantee of a water rights easement for the spring.

 

In July 1995 the Southeastern Cave Conservancy signed a contract with the owner to purchase the pit. Following a survey of the property and some arrangements regarding parking and walking access, the SCCi completed the purchase and took ownership on December 5, 1995.

Total cost of the purchase was a little over $51,000. The SCCi raised most the money and secured a loan sufficient to allow us to complete the deal. We had six months to pay off the loan at no interest.

At the 1995 TAG Fall Cave In the SCCi kicked off a major new fund raising program for the Neversink Purchase called "Buy a Piece of the Pit". The plan allowed cavers to make a contribution to the SCCi Neversink Fund and receive a complimentary Neversink T-Shirt with a map of the cave and the words "I Bought A Piece of the Pit" plus an honorary certificate of ownership, suitable for framing, which identifies your particular plot on the property. The fund raising program was a major success and allowed us to retire the debt from the purchase in one year.


Neversink at night.
   Van Swearingen IV.
Photo by John Van Swearingen IV.

Acreage: 32.87 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Property Manager: Jim Hall (neversink@scci.org)
Access: Open. 12 person group size limit. 6 vehicles maximum in parking area. Do not park on the road. See the management plan for details.

Horse Skull and Jack's Hole Cave Preserve

Horse Skull and Jack's Hole Cave Preserve

Horse Skull and Jack's Hole caves are in Jackson County, AL. These cave are now permanently protected. You can help support this cave acquisition by purchasing a Piece of the Caves! View the Plot Map for passage sections that are still available.

NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of the deadly White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy and follow these guidelines before visiting Horse Skull or Jack's Hole Caves:

  • Before and after visiting the Preserve, thoroughly clean and decontaminate all clothing, footwear or gear that has been previously used in a cave in Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky (or in a WNS-Affected State prior to 2006), following the procedures outlined in the latest USFWS guidelines (see Attachment 2).
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that you cannot adequately decontaminate.
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that has been used since January 1, 2006 in any cave in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and/or West Virginia, regardless of decontamination protocols followed.

Acreage: 40 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Property Manager: Andy Zellner (horseskull@scci.org)
Access: Open. 12 person group size limit. See the management plan for details.

 

Commercial Use Statement
The Board of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) reaffirms its standing policy that bans the commercial use of our properties, and specifically, prohibits any activity where a charge of any type is made. Should you have any questions, contact the SCCi Chair at chair@scci.org .

Horse Skull Entrance
Horse Skull Cave entrance
Photo by John Van Swearingen IV

Jack's Hole Cave
Jack's Hole Cave
Photo by John Van Swearingen IV

Valhalla Cave Preserve

On Friday, March 8, 2002, the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc. became the owner of Valhalla, a well-known and much-loved vertical cave in Jackson County, Alabama, USA. The purchase marks the successful completion of a two-year effort to acquire and re-open the cave.

With its beautiful 227-foot entrance pitch and over a mile of cave at the bottom, Valhalla is one of the finest pit caves in the southeastern United States. Following it's discovery and exploration in the 1960's, the cave was a popular destination for decades until it was closed     in the early 90's when irresponsible cavers wore out their welcome with the surrounding landowners.

NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of the deadly White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy and follow these guidelines before visiting Valhalla:

  • Before and after visiting the Preserve, thoroughly clean and decontaminate all clothing, footwear or gear that has been previously used in a cave in Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky (or in a WNS-Affected State prior to 2006), following the procedures outlined in the latest USFWS guidelines (see Attachment 2)..
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that you cannot adequately decontaminate.
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that has been used since January 1, 2006 in any cave in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and/or West Virginia, regardless of decontamination protocols followed.

Valhalla.

While we now own the pit and part of the road leading to it, we do not own the entire access route. Further, the SCCi property is surrounded on all sides by extensive hunting club lands. Landowner relations will therefore be an important consideration in the management      of the preserve.

We have established a good working relationship with the surrounding landowners and the hunting clubs that lease much of their property, and have obtained permission to cross their lands and to place an SCCi lock on the gate at the beginning of the road. Cooperation and respect for our neighbors will be critical in order to avoid problems in the future.

In the interest of maintaining good relations with our neighbors, we have decided to minimize visitation during deer and turkey hunting seasons. We don't have to do this, but we feel that our friendship with the other landowners is worth it. We are also concerned for the safety of visitors to the preserve. Access during hunting season entails the risk of accidentally being shot. For these reasons, the Conservancy has adopted a management plan that restricts access during hunting seasons. We feel this is in everyone's best interest.

Cavers wishing to visit the preserve must contact the property managers and provide advance notice of their visit. They will then be provided with the gate combination and access information. At least one member of the group must be an SCCi or NSS member. We are confident that cavers will understand and respect this policy.

The full management plan is available on the SCCi web site. If you have any questions about the cave or the access policy, you may contact the property managers at valhalla@scci.org.

Acreage: 125.0 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Property Managers: Buddy Lane and Bill Putnam (valhalla@scci.org)
Access: SCCi or NSS membership and advance notification required. 12 person group size limit. Closed during deer and turkey seasons. See the management plan for details.

Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve

The SCCi is pleased to announce the acquisition of Tumbling Rock Cave, Alabama, by means of a lease/purchase agreement. Management of the preserve is handled by Tumbling Rock Inc., an Alabama non-profit corporation, and began on January 1, 2008. This very special acquisition is the culmination of more than two years of extensive efforts by SCCi member Jay Clark and others.

The cave is open for visitation primarily on weekends, from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon. Access at other times may be possible by special arrangement.

 


hoto by Nathan Williams
The Topless Dome, Tumbling Rock
P
hoto by Nathan Williams.

NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of the deadly White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting                                      bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy and follow these guidelines                                             before visiting Tumbling Rock Cave:

  • Before and after visiting the Preserve, thoroughly clean and decontaminate all                                               clothing, footwear or gear that has been previously used in a cave in Rhode Island,                                        Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky                                                   (or in a WNS-Affected State prior to 2006), following the procedures outlined                                             in the latest USFWS guidelines (see Attachment 2)..
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that you cannot adequately                                                        decontaminate.
  • Do not use any clothing, footwear or gear that has been used since                                                            January 1, 2006 in any cave in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts,                                           New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and/or West Virginia,                                                     regardless of decontamination protocols followed.

We hope you can appreciate that this particular acquisition involves some very substantial                                         expenses for the Conservancy. Expenses for the first year are expected to be more than                                        $20,000. The present owners have charged a small fee for many years. Our lease and                                              purchase is not free, and we have other expenses of operation in addition to the                                                    monthly lease/purchase payment. We will therefore need to request a small donation                                             from each visitor in order to offset some of the expense required to obtain and manage                                           the cave.

 


Tumbling Rock Cave. Photo by Nathan Williams.


Visitors entering the cave will be expected to have appropriate caving equipment (helmet,                                       boots, and headlamp) and to follow standard cave safety and conservation practices as                                            promoted by the National Speleological Society.

Managing Tumbling Rock will be a big project, and we are already in need of volunteers                                           to serve as weekend preserve managers. We are seeking volunteers for weekend duty                                           at the cave, and these volunteers will be able to stay at the house by the cave for the                                            weekend. There are no plans at this time for guided trips, cave guides, or other similar                                             activities. There will be very few changes at first, with the most noticeable being the                                               requirement that visitors have appropriate caving safety equipment.

 


Tumbling Rock Cave. Photo by Nathan Williams.

The overall preserve manager is Jay Clark, who reports directly to the Board of Directors                                           of the non-profit corporation running the preserve. Jay is actively soliciting cavers to serve                                        with him as volunteer weekend preserve managers. If you are interested, please contact                                         Jay by email at tumblingrock@scci.org. Any suggestions that you have concerning                                                    management of the preserve will also be appreciated and considered.

It is important that we project a very favorable impression to the landowners and local                                            community. Too many caving areas have been closed to the all of us because of abuse by                                       cavers or other visitors. We do not want that to occur here. In order to ensure that things                                      go well and our lease progresses into the purchase phase, so that we may obtain full                                               ownership of the property, it is important that visitors continue to observe a few                                                    common sense rules, such as:

  • When visiting the preserve, please do not change clothes in public. Changing area                                        are available and must be used.

  • No using the bathroom in the cave, or at any place other than the facilities we                                             have provided outside.

  • Please do not consume any alcoholic beverage or drugs of any type in the cave or                                         on the preserve.

  • Please respect and be considerate of our neighbors, other visitors, and the cave                                           environment by refraining from littering, touching artifacts, damaging formations,                                          molesting wildlife, or otherwise disturbing the peace and serenity of the cave and                                          the preserve.

We hope that all of you are as excited about this acquisition as we have been. Please help                                       us with developing the preserve by continuing to support the Conservancy, by volunteering                                     to help on the preserve and by helping us work toward full ownership of the property.

The SCCi extends special thanks to Nathan Williams for his superb photographs, which he                                         allowed us to use at TAG, and to Pat Kambesis for allowing us to use a scaled-down version                                     of her very fine map of Tumbling Rock on the Tumbling Rock Cave T-shirts.

If you have any questions regarding Tumbling Rock Cave, you may contact us at                                                     tumblingrock@scci.org.

Acreage: Leased in Jackson County, Alabama
Property Manager: Jay Clark (tumblingrock@scci.org)
Access: Open on Saturdays and Sundays. For details or special arrangements contact the                                                     property manager. See the management plan for details.

Commercial Use Statement
The Board of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) reaffirms its standing policy                                                      that bans the commercial use of our properties, and specifically, prohibits any activity where                                                   a charge of any type is made. Should you have any questions, contact the SCCi Chair at                                                          chair@scci.org .

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