As of the year 2000, Cathedral Caverns became a State Park, allowing the public to continue to witness this inspiring natural wonder. The park is comprised mostly of the cave as its main feature. While visitors of the park are welcome to trek across the multi-use trails, most come to take in the expanse of the Caverns themselves; not so much the surroundings.
It is no surprise, as this unique destination is on the list for many World Record formations, including one of the largest stalagmites, aptly named "Goliath". The cave holds many wonders; all starting with the grand entrance. At a cool, but comfortable and constant temperature, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, Cathedral Caverns is a perfect side adventure as you get the most out of your four wheels.
All of the Caverns' uncovered secrets, fun activities held within the park, and beautiful Alabama surroundings can be fully enjoyed in a day (without feeling rushed), however, some families choose to spend the night and re-charge before continuing their journey. Some guests stay to get the most out of the area's hiking and biking; even Woodville, AL locals are among the park visitors that come to utilize the no-reservation-needed, first-come, first serve campsites.
This state park is a sure "win" for families looking to add a little something to the trip. Parking here means you've got a brand new list of fun to get in before you're on the road again - time to get started!
RV Rentals in Cathedral Caverns State Park
Transportation in Cathedral Caverns State Park
This small state park has paved roads right through it, and driving even a fairly large RV isn't overly difficult.
Cathedral Caverns Highway branches off from Highway 72 and leads right through the park. There are signs for the park from the highway, so even though the park is small, you're unlikely to miss it.
Campgrounds and parking in Cathedral Caverns State Park
Campsites in Cathedral Caverns State Park
This park is all about the Cathedral Caverns, so, not many guests plan on spending multiple days here. This place does, however, prove to be a well-loved area of rest for ongoing travels. The campground here is only made up of 13 improved sites, each supplying hookups for both water and electric. All sites are non-reservable, so if you're planning a stay here, it's mostly the luck of the draw and, ultimately, who gets there first. Sites are all back-in only with no sizing restrictions listed.
While this campground doesn't come packed with all sorts of facilities or amenities, guests are at least welcome to use the area bathhouse. A shaded spot isn't hard to find here, either. However, if you wind up finding yourself with a rig that is too large, or there simply isn't any more room to park, there is always the option of alternative stays, where you and your RV can end the day comfortably.
Backcountry Tent Camping
Currently, most camping at Cathedral Caverns State Park is largely primitive. Walk-up/Drive-up sites are available to all tent campers on a first-come, first-serve basis. Most of the sites here have shade and are accompanied by a fire ring. Select sites even have water. A bathhouse is available nearby for use. Beginning as a state park in 2000, Cathedral Caverns still has a long list of improvements that are projected as future accommodations for more guests and longer stays. For now, the camping here is at least quaint, comfortable, and held in a unique setting.
Out of Park Stays
Whether all sites are filled, your rig doesn't fit, or for any other reason you're night won't end at Cathedral Caverns State Park's campground, it's easy to find a close alternative. Additional camping is found at nearby RV Parks, Resorts, and even more of Alabama's State Parks.
When you want full hookups, clear WiFi, and a few more features with your stay, finding an RV Park in either Scottsboro or Woodville is a great place to start your search. Also within driving distance are other area attractions, such as DeSoto State Park and Lake Guntersville. If you're looking to get to a larger town, expect a 30 minute drive to Huntsville.
Seasonal activities in Cathedral Caverns State Park
Visit the Largest Stalagmite
Cathedral Caverns is home to the world's largest stalagmite. Visitors come from far and wide to take a gander at "Goliath". It measures at a whopping 45 feet tall and 243 feet around. "Goliath" isn't the only record holder in this cavern. Guests exploring the cave will have several opportunities to witness formations that top the charts.
When you're looking to escape the heat of Alabama's Summer, a Cave Tour is the perfect answer. These tours are scheduled all throughout the day, meaning you have plenty of opportunity to explore. The cave is also wheelchair accessible, so everyone can get an in-depth look at this part of the state. A list of tour times and prices is provided online and at the park.
When visiting the caverns, you can't help but want to snap a few photos of the spectacular formations and geological splendor. The cave, though fairly dark, is illuminated in such a way that visitors are able to witness all sorts of these formations without having to strain or pop off 'flash' for every intended subject. There are several locations where you'll surely want to stop for a few photos, such as the Cathedral Caverns' astounding entrance, the "frozen" waterfall, the stalagmite forest, the famed "Goliath", and much more.
Even if you don't plan on spending the night, the grounds around Cathedral Caverns are the perfect summertime location to spend the whole day. After a morning tour, a leisurely picnic is the perfect way to pick up your energy levels and discuss the day's findings. The picnic setting is fairly standard, but comfortable. With plenty of shade, you'll be able to escape the sun, but that's still no contest to the always-cool caverns. Picnic areas tend to be quite popular with larger groups and families and are first come, first serve.
The area of the state park was once a quarry, with the result that there are plenty of man-made bluffs and cliffs that can be explored by climbers. The sheer cliffs offer a great place to rappel from, too.
For a slight added fee, guests of Cathedral Caverns State Park can continue the fun with their own gem panning experience. The park's store offers pre-filled bags, full of gemstones and various fossils, for guests to sift through. The fun is in the mystery, as you never quite know what you're going to uncover. This activity is one that guests of any age will enjoy.
While the caverns of Cathedral Caverns State Park are the central focus for most visitors of the grounds, the rest of the surrounding landscape has more for guests to explore. The fun doesn't need to end when the cave tour does. There are four trails, marked as blue, red, yellow, and green routes. Each of the loops circle in about a mile-long stretch but vary in difficulty level. Guests of all hiking abilities will be able to find the perfect trail.
Cathedral Caverns State Park land is the ideal location, not just for traveling around on two feet, but two wheels. There are four loops to choose from, each only circling a little over a mile with each round. However, the looping system intertwines and makes for a leisurely ride through the Alabama countryside. Feeling adventurous? It's easy to pack up your bikes and head toward backpacking sites situated along the Green Trail.
Stop In At The Visitor Center
With every visit to the caverns, it's a necessity to stop in at the Welcome Center. The center is open to visitors looking to take a little more away from the experience of the state park. Gemstones, memorabilia, and other souvenirs, as well as light snacks and drinks, are available here. The center is open all year round, as tours are available throughout the season. Guests can expect to find the Visitor Center open every day, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.
Cathedral Cavern State Park may be small, but it has plenty of places where geocachers can hide items for each other to find. Bring a GPS and participate in this worldwide outdoor scavenger hunt.