Cathedral Caverns State Park
At only 493 acres, the Cathedral Caverns State Park in Woodville, Alabama may be on the small side, but its beauty is unmatched. Perfect for those lusting after adventure, the park’s rustic camping site and numerous hiking trails draw people in year after year. And, its world-renowned caverns are a sight to behold!
Originally called the “Bat Cave,” the Cathedral Caverns were renamed because of their cathedral-like appearance and opened as a state park in 2000. Ranger-guided tours are provided throughout the day and take approximately one hour. While the park has an abundance of hiking trails, campsites, and picnic areas, most guests visit for its cave tours and gem mining activities.
The Cathedral Caverns were first developed as a tourist attraction in the early 1950s and by 1972, had been declared a National Natural Landmark. Notable features include a stalagmite forest and the Goliath Column, one of the largest stalagmites in the world at 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.
There is also a large flowstone “waterfall” inside, as well as a Mystery River that runs through the caverns. It boasts of a year-round temperature of 68 degrees, making it the perfect destination for school trips.
However, the Cathedral Caverns are more famous for its entryway, which at 25 feet tall and 128 feet across, is considered to be the world’s widest cave entrance. While the total extent of the cave system remains unknown, the public areas are approximately 2 miles of wheelchair-accessible concrete walkways.
One of the most sought-after activities in Alabama is this state park’s gem mining experience, which allows visitors to pan for gems and fossils from bags of pre-prepared dirt. This thrill of discovery is enjoyed by kids and adults alike!
Cavern Tour (Adults) $19
Cavern Tour (Children 5-12) $9
Cavern Tour (Children 4 and below) FREE
Gem Mining Between $6 to $23
The park’s numerous hiking trails cater to everyone, from beginners to those with more experience. Five different trails with different-colored markings and varying difficulties stretch for five and a half miles across the park.
The park’s picnic grounds are the perfect location for a summertime picnic. The areas are comfortable with plenty of shade and are popular with families and large groups.
The park provides three different types of campsites. The first, the Primitive Camping Site, features cleared sites with fire pits, community water spigots, and portable toilets. Those who prefer sites with more amenities can opt for the park’s Improved Camping Sites, which feature electric and water hook-ups.
Want a more rustic experience? The Cathedral Caverns State Park also has Backcountry Campsites, which lie far from the park’s main areas and have a more unobstructed view of nature.
For avid photographers, the state park offers a Cathedral Caverns Photography Tour that takes place every second Tuesday of every month, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, from July 22, 2019, until July 22, 2021. Tickets cost $25 per person.
Fun Park Facts
The Cathedral Caverns State park has appeared in two different movies: in 1983, it served as a location for the film, Secrets of the Phantom Caverns, and in 1995, provided the cave settings for the Disney movie, Tom and Huck.
State Park Hours
● Open 7 days a week, 365 days a year from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
● Cave Tour is closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day
● Gem Mining is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
637 Cave Rd, Woodville, AL 35776
General information phone number: (256) 728-8193
Alabama State Parks Main Page