Escape the Heat in Cathedral Caverns
- Open year-round, from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
- Only about 45 minutes from Huntsville
Looking for a great getaway, close to home but not sure which direction to turn the car? Head to Cathedral Caverns State Park! Located in Marshall County, Alabama, it’s a hidden gem in a gorgeous natural setting that’s perfect no matter the weather or season.
For parents, Cathedral Caverns is an educational paradise loaded with history, geology, and biology. No need to study up before going – a guided tour through the Caverns, which holds a constant temperature of 60 degrees in both winter and summer, is guaranteed to teach everyone in the group something they didn’t know about this Alabama wonder. Inside, you’ll follow the story of Jacob Gurley and how his love of caving and geology gave us the State Park we enjoy today.
While you’re there, try your hand at panning for precious gems at Tom’s Mine. You can purchase bags and buckets of dirt from inside the main building that you can run through an old fashioned mining flume. You’re guaranteed to find some pretty stones, but you might get lucky and strike it rich! (Not really…)
Cathedral Caverns: Know Before you Go
The Cave is very accessible. The path through the cave is wide and smooth, and for those that need extra help covering the distance, cart tours are also available at no additional cost. Grandma and the new baby would love to come along. It’s very stroller and wheelchair friendly.
- Parking is plentiful and free.
- Wear comfortable shoes with grippy soles. The entire trip in and out is around 90 minutes and 1.5 miles roundtrip.
- Bring your camera. The natural beauty inside the cave photographs beautifully and every spot is Instagram worthy.
- Bring a hat. There is a lot of humidity and moisture inside the cave and any new hair doo will be frizzy or flat by the end.
- Pack a lunch. There are nice covered picnic areas right outside the cave. In fact, pack dinner, because you won’t want to leave!
- Rainy days don’t affect cave tours! They happen rain or shine.
- Leave your canine family members at home – pets are not allowed in the cave.
- You can book a private tour! Contact the park for more information.
- Bring money. The main building at the Caverns holds a gift shop full of trinkets, toys, books, candy, and lots of sparkly rocks. The kids (and you) won’t be able to resist. My son couldn’t leave without his very own miners helmet. I had to have several books. My husband – rock candy.
Thinking of staying awhile? Cathedral Caverns State Park has recently updated their campground area with all new everything. There’s even a playground nearby, primitive tent camping areas, and cabin rentals available. Not staying but not ready to head home? Guntersville is only another 20 minutes up the road for food, entertainment, lake views and shopping.
So what are you waiting for? The Caves are calling!
A special thanks goes out to Rita, our personal tour guide, who showed my family a fabulous time and kept us entertained and in stitches from the time we entered the Cave until long past the time we came out. In fact, the entire staff there was warm and welcoming and definitely love showing off their park.
Cathedral Caverns State Park Details
Address: 637 Cave Road, Woodville, AL 35776
Hours: 9am – 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Cost: Park Admission is $20 for ages 13+, $18 for military with ID, $9 for ages 5-12, and for under 4 there is no charge. You can also book groups for a discounted rate. Reservations are recommended. Admission includes a guided tour through the cave to hear the history, see all the formations, cave crickets, and even bats!
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Christal Gamble was raised in Triana, Alabama and graduated from Bob Jones High School. After spending 15 years in fast-paced Atlanta as an Art Gallery Director, Christal decided that she missed her Sweet Home Alabama and came back to reside in the very place she grew up. She’s now a full time wife, homeschool mom and blogger that enjoys reading, fine art, traveling, spending time outdoors, and volunteering with Triana Friends of the Library. You can find Christal and her 7 year old, Cash, encouraging and helping other parents with Learning at Home through their Multi-platform online presence, @Mamasweetbaby.
Great pic! Cathedral Caverns is a great place to cool off and explore in the summer! I read that they shot part of the movie Tom and Huck there too.
The movie being filmed there is true…they tell you many additional interesting facts on the tour 🙂
I love Cathedral Caverns! We take all of our out of town visitors there. Especially when it is too hot to do anything else! I would be careful about bringing small children because the setup relies heavily on you to keep kids within what are often just railings that can be climbed under easily.
Ashley, you are correct there is a path that visitors need to stay on. Small children need to be observed and best to hold mom or dad’s hand during the tour!
I cant wait to take the kids here this summer i loved it all the times i went
Jillian I hope you have a great time. Depending on the age of your kids, give them a camera and encourage them to maybe do a photo journal or writing journal of your adventure.
I’ve always wanted to go to cathedral caverns, I grew up in Gurley so it wasn’t too far. I think it was closed when I was a kid. I look forward to taking my little ones soon!
Sam, I have lived in Huntsville since 5th grade and it took me until last year to finally visit 🙂 Hope you have a nice visit when you get the chance to go!
Great post. We loved Cathedral Caverns when we went. Unfortunately I don’t think my 2 year old would have the patience for it. I recommend it to any out of town visitors though.
Ashley, we took our 2 year old and she was FASCINATED by it!
I grew up in Woodville and now I live in Grant. I’ve only been a couple times, and it’s been at least 10 years. I’ve always been nervous about taking my little ones, but they might to great. I guess we’ll have to try and see!