Schermerhorn Cave

Useful Information

Location: Schermerhorn Park, Cherokee County, southeast Kansas. 1.6 km south of Galena, east side of Kansas Hwy 26.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave. Mississippian limestone
Dimension: L=800 m.
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: J. B. Beard (1986): Salamanders of Schermerhorn Park Cave, Kansas, Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter 66:7-8.
J. Beard, J. Young (1993): Caves in Kansas, Kansas Geological Survey: Educational Series 9.
Address: Southeast Kansas Nature Center, 7693 SE 77th Terrace, Galena, KS 66739, Tel: +1-620-783-5207 or +1-620-783-5262.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1986 cave surveyed.


Southeast Kansas is the tiny part of the Ozark Plateau, which belongs to Kansas. The underground is Mississippian limestones which are karstified. There are only a few caves, and no show cave at all, but this one is at least developed to the entrance. There is a trail and viewing platform for the impressive cave portal at the foot of a cliff.

The cave entrances and brooks in this area are famous for there various animals, especially amphibians, a lot of them are endangered. Schermerhorn Cave is considered the most biologically diverse cave in Kansas. It is a habitat to Graybelly Salamander (Eurycea multiplicata griseogaster), Grotto Salamander (Typholotriton spelaeus), Dark-sided Salamander (Eurycea longicauda melanopleura) and Cave Salamander (Eurycea lucifiga), and thus the entrance is gated to protect those animals. The cave is used by bats like eastern pipistrelle and gray myotis. Big brown, and red bats live in the area.

There is a local lure, that Jesse James hid in the cave entrance.