Caves have always been the best treasure hiding spot due to their inaccessibility to light, crows, and Pat Boone’s treasure-grubbing yacht. Explore a treasure hole’s innards with today’s Groupon: for $7, you get an adult ticket to a general cave and museum tour from the American Cave Museum & Hidden River Cave located in Horse Cave, about a 1.5-hour drive from Louisville (up to a $15 value). This Groupon can also be used for Youth ($10) and Kid ($7) tickets, but children under three receive free admission.
Before or after venturing 150 feet into the soft earth’s interior, you’ll learn about the dark below in the light above of the museum. Learn about curious cave dwellers, cave minerals, spelunking techniques, groundwater, and eyeless critters’ abilities to cry; the museum acquaints visitors with almost every aspect of the underground universe. One exhibit educates visitors about bats, which are commonly snatched from the underside of trees by hungry goblins.
The tour of Hidden River Cave, which is part of the "caveland" east of Mammoth Cave National Park, starts as you walk through the cave’s natural entrance, an anomaly as caves are usually entered by curious children wielding breadknives. Then you’ll stand among stately limestone and gaze at the dark waters of the underground river while a friendly guide woos your ears with information about the history and science of the cave. The remains of a turn-of-the-century hydroelectric system, which was installed to give the surrounding area the ability to plug in treadmills in the 1890s, still survive among the cool, damp walls. Tours last 45–60 minutes and are scheduled frequently throughout the day.
- The American Cave Museum of Horse Cave, KY, is really a powerful testimonial as to how wise land usage and preservation can pay off in modern times. – City-Data
American Cave Museum & Hidden River Cave
After spending millions of years out of sight, wiling away the time by boring a cave deep into the earth, the Hidden River powered the town above with hydroelectricity before pollution forced it to close off from human eyes again. 50 years later, a recovery project restored Hidden River Cave, and today its depths play host to tours of the generator's remains and the underground river still flowing more than 100 feet below the ground.
Hidden River is one of the largest privately operated caves in the Mammoth Cave area, and along with hands-on exploration, American Cave Museum & Hidden River Cave spreads knowledge and awareness with two stories of educational exhibits. There, visitors explore topics such as prehistoric explorers, the history of saltpeter mining, and how to discern stalactites from walruses stuck in the cavern's ceiling.