Robert Frost could have used a local guide when he decided to take the road less traveled by, as he discovered only too late it was patrolled by feral park rangers. Learn how a tour guide makes all the difference with today’s Groupon to the American Cave Museum & Hidden River Cave in Horse Cave. Choose from the following options:
- For $15, you get two adult tickets to the Hidden River Cave Tour, including admission to the American Cave Museum (a $30 value).
- For $28, you get four adult tickets to the Hidden River Cave Tour, including admission to the American Cave Museum (a $60 value).
- For $40, you get six adult tickets to the Hidden River Cave Tour, including admission to the American Cave Museum (a $90 value).
During tours into the Hidden River Cave, groups of exploratory adventurers descend 150 feet to venture among yawning chambers and witness a subterranean river. After a 50-year closure due to pollution, the restored cave now delights spelunkers on 45- to 60-minute tours as they wind among limestone and peer into the stream’s dark waters for blind fish and shy trolls. Professional guides share geological facts and explain the remnants of a hydroelectric system, which powered electric lighting in the 1890s and made Horse Cave the second city in Kentucky to bring neighbors to blows over excessive Christmas lights. Youth ages 12–15 pay $10 for tour admission, children ages 3–11 pay $7, and those younger than 3 are admitted free.
Meanwhile, the American Cave Museum fills two floors with exhibits about cave ecology and underground critters. Visitors learn about groundwater science, hear stories of prehistoric and modern cave explorers, and examine the nature of bats. The museum also documents the colorful history of Horse Cave, from its hydroelectric role to its adolescent rebellion, when it sheltered forty thieves and insisted on magic words from potential entrants.
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.