Exploring Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky | Kids Out and About San Francisco <

Exploring Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky

By Meg Brunson

Kentucky has over 130 caves, and when we explored the state last year, we visited Mammoth Cave, part of the National Park Service. This year, we decided to look for a different cave experience and were thrilled to discover Lost River Cave in Bowling Green – just about 30 minutes south of Mammoth Cave.

The number one thing that sets Lost River Cave apart is that the tour is only partially on foot – and part of it is by boat! We love any excuse for a boat ride, but it’s truly a unique experience to be able to explore a cave by boat!

The tour taught us all about the cave system and the interesting history of the cave – including that it held a 1930’s nightclub, was part of the underground railroad, and the famous outlaw Jesse James even used the cave as a hideout!

During portions of the cave tour we were so close to the ceiling, we had to duck! For that reason, tours may close down temporarily if they get too much rain. Luckily, we did not have that issue during our visit. 

We got to see some baby stalactites beginning to form along the cave ceiling and learned that they don’t get too big in this cave because it’s still so active and water levels rise frequently enough to knock them down – still, it was cool to see how they get started before they get to the size that we’d seen at Mammoth Cave. 

The water depth in the cave system is only 4-5 feet (which is reassuring for a non-swimmer like me) and everyone was given a flotation device before entering the boat. The kids wore life jackets and adults got a cushion that doubled as a flotation device if needed.

We loved being able to experience Lost River Cave by boat – and after our tour we were able to shop at the gift shop (a great place for gifts and souvenirs) and the Nature Explore Playscape was a really neat outdoor play area full of natural elements for the kids to play with (no swings or slides, but lots of sticks and logs). The kids loved moving logs bigger than they were to create their own forts!

Tips for a Terrific Visit

  • Dress with the Weather above & below ground in mind – The tour begins outside, so you’ll want to be dressed for the weather, and it continues in the caves, so you’ll also want to be prepared for cave temps of 57 degrees.
  • The walk is relatively easy (about 1/3 of a mile) without a ton of stairs and there are ramps making the tour accessible for strollers and wheelchairs, however strollers and wheelchairs are not allowed on the boat.

Learn more about the Lost River Cave and start planning your visit at https://www.lostrivercave.org/tours/

Read about some of the other adventures we're having on our Indefinite Road Trip!

© 2020 Meg Brunson

Thanks to Lost River Cave for sponsoring this review!  All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!

Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four kids who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!