The river that flows through the Bluespring Caverns, a 21-mile-long cave system, is home to a staggering concentration of unique amphibians and aquatic creatures.
The Bluespring Caverns were first discovered in the 19th-century, with exploration continuing through the 1940s. Wide limestone caves stretch for miles beneath the ground, acting like a canopy for the river that runs along their floor.
The river that ripples through the caverns is the longest-known underground river in the U.S. The humid environment combined with constant darkness creates an ideal habitat for blind and albino species . In addition to bugs like crickets, beetles, and spiders, larger creatures such as salamanders, frogs, and crayfish all lurk among the flowing waters, many of them purely white or nearly invisible in their translucence. There is even an extremely rare species of blind cavefish that swims through the subterranean waters.
Visitors can board a boat for an underground tour of the river, which lasts about an hour. If you have a keen eye, you’re likely to see some of the caverns’ unusual creatures. Bluespring Caverns is notable for its length and stony grandeur, but what sets it apart from other subterranean wonders is its wildlife.
Know Before You Go
The caverns are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from March through October. Tours leave on the hour and cost $18 for an adult ticket and $10 for a youth ticket. See the park's website for more details.