Preserving 260 million years of history in an area of only 380 acres, Rickwood Caverns State Park is a beautiful nature and historical preserve located just a few miles away from the city of Warrior in Jefferson County, Alabama. When you take an RV visit to the park, you'll see how the centuries-old limestone cave takes center stage with its water-formed limestone structures. This water-formed cave also features an underground pool with blind cavefish. The cave looks more spellbinding than ever at Christmas when Santa and Mrs. Claus set up their little workshop inside these limestone structures. This Christmas event has been a major hit since its inception, with visitors coming from near and far. The park is also named after the cave discoverers, Eddie Rickles and Sonny Arwood.
Besides its massive rocky structures and magnificent cave tours, the park offers plenty of other ways you can get refreshed at the park. The park features an Olympic-sized swimming pool, sheltered picnic spots, scenic hiking trails, opportunities for gem mining, and geocaching. It’s no wonder the park is surging with visitors all year long with all the fun recreational activities that are offered here. There are also opportunities for camping enthusiasts. The park features 13 developed campsites, nine with water and electric hookups, and the rest are tent sites. The RV sites are large enough to accommodate trailers and motorhomes of any size, so what are you waiting for? There is so much to discover at Rickwood Caverns State Park, so get ready for an RV trip of a lifetime in Alabama.
Rickwood Caverns State Park is easy to access by car or RV and is located on Rickwood Park Road. Warrior is the closest city to the park, located about 7.5 miles south of Rickwood Caverns State Park. This proximity is perfect if you need to top up on groceries, toiletries, and other necessaries. If you don't find what you are looking for, you can try Birmingham, Alabama’s most populous city, which is also one of the closest cities to the park. The drive to Birmingham is just short of 30 miles, and visitors can get there by traveling along I-65. RVers with bigger rigs traveling to the park from Birmingham won't encounter any height restrictions along the way. GPS will easily get you to the park with no problems.
With its small size of just 380 acres, getting around the park is very easy. The RV and primitive campsites sit in the park’s woods, and restrooms and a dump station are available inside the campground. The picnic area can also be found nearby. Adequate and spacious parking options are available as well, and large vehicles, motorhomes, and trailers are typically allowed with no restrictions on vehicle length. While driving inside the park, take care to follow the park rules.
The park offers five campsites for tents only. The park’s campground also offers tent camping for groups od 20 people and more and can accommodate as many people as needed. This campsite is ideal for Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups. Clean water is available nearby. Restrooms are available in the campground, not too far away from the primitive sites.
Rickwood Caverns State Park offers nine RV campsites with partial hookups, including 30 and 50-amp electrical hookups and water hookups. No sewer hookups are provided, but there is a dump station located in the campground. Modern restrooms with showers are also available, but keep in mind that the showers are closed from November until February. Other amenities include a comfort station and 24-hour patrolling. The campsites are pet-friendly and ADA-compliant. The campsites are quite spacious, and there is no size limit for motorhomes or trailers. With so much to see and do, plus all the amenities on hand, you might find yourself never wanting to leave. Luckily, you can stay for up to 14 days. RVers staying a weekend at the park must stay for a minimum of two nights to reserve their sites. During important holidays a minimum of a three nights stay is required. Campers can receive discounted admission to the cave if they stay one night or more.
Another fun activity that is offered at the caves is gem mining, which is thoroughly enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. Mine like the treasure hunters of old using a mining pan and a sluice to sift the gems from the dirt and soil. There is a delightful variety of gems to find in all different shapes and sizes. If you’re lucky, you might find something worth taking back home, as a reminder of your RV adventure to Rickwood Caverns.
If you are looking to unwind with a nice meal after exploring the caves, you can park your rig at the picnic area. Rickwood Caverns State Park provides shaded picnic areas that are furnished with picnic tables and complimentary barbecue grills. They are available throughout the year and are well-provided with water and electricity. A playground for the little ones can also be found close by. The park has two reservable picnic pavilions that are perfect for family parties and reunions. They are both equipped with grills, electrical outlets, tables, and water spigots. There is a smaller pavilion, which can seat 70 people, and a larger pavilion that can seat 150.
Rickwood Caverns State Park boasts an Olympic-size swimming pool, and the water source is the park’s giant cave. The swimming pool opens every year during the peak season and is a fantastic way to cool off and calm your sweltering nerves during the summer. You can also enjoy the luxury of a private pool party for up to 50 people from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The park also features a nice little kiddie pool for the younger ones.
The park’s majestic limestone cave provides a tremendous recreational opportunity for all adventurers. These centuries-old rocky structures cast a spell on visitors with its mysterious vibes and astonishing formation. The guided tours for these water-formed caverns are offered daily throughout the year. These usually last a little over an hour, and the guides are very informative. The route is a mile long, and there are 110 steps you will need to climb to reach the exit at the end, so make sure to wear comfortable non-slippery shoes. You will find the path inside the cave to be well lit and easy to see. Along the way, there is plenty of opportunity for photos, and you may even be able to see some bats in the caves. For those unable to walk through the cave, there is a virtual reality tour available.
The caves can also be used as a wedding venue throughout the year. You will have to try hard to find a more unique wedding spot than one 175 feet below the ground. Its debut wedding in July of 1958 was the first underground wedding in the state, and the wedding was even televised. Since then, the area where the couple recited their vows is known as the Bridal Room, and there are now two different rooms you can choose from to say I do. The caves have a comfortable and cool temperature of 62 degrees that is maintained throughout the year, so make sure to bring along some warmer clothing. You can tailor your wedding to your liking with colored LED bulbs, laser projections lights, and music.
If you would prefer to stay on solid ground for your special moment, you can use the park's Blount County Covered Bridge for your special day. This outdoor venue is very picturesque and makes a stunning venue. It is situated adjacent to the large pavilion, which is perfect for an outdoor reception. You can expect to find seating for more than 100 people, electricity, and water.
There are several hiking trails to choose from at Rickwood Caverns State Park. Within its 380 acres, you can find four different trails varying in length from 0.4 miles to 1.25 miles. These trails take hikers through forests, wildflowers, and resurrection ferns, up limestone mountains and past historical sites like the fenced graveyard of the original owners, and the Miniature Blount County Bridge, which is historical where the old train tracks used to be. The trails are not overly challenging and are a splendid option for novice hikers and children. Pets are also allowed, but make sure to keep them on a leash.
Rickwood Caverns State Park is an excellent spot for geocaching if you want to get out of the camper for a while. The park considers geocaching an incredible outdoor activity and extends opportunities to individuals, families, as well as groups of friends to indulge in this thrilling sport. However, a permit is required before you can lay your hands on the GPS. In order to maintain the park’s natural resources, the park has set out a few rules for the players. The park’s permission is required before hiding a geocache anywhere in the park.
Every Christmas, the park’s caverns are transformed into Santa’s Underground Workshop. Tens of thousands of LED lights illuminate the dark cave. The cave looks its magical best with laser lights and fog that mystifies the entire rocky structure. Santa and Mrs. Claus can also be seen posing with the visitors somewhere near his workshop. The cave also exhibits a Christmas village room showcasing hundreds of houses and cottages glorifying the villages. You can also find a waterfall in Santa’s Workshop adorned with LED lights. A guided tour of this phenomenal workshop is offered, which lasts for about half an hour, but visitors can also choose to spend more time inside if they wish.