|Location:||I-65 at exit 284 Hayden Corner, 10 km north of Warrior, in North Central Alabama.|
05-MAR to Memorial Day Sat, Sun, Hol 10-17.
Memorial Day to 10-AUG daily 10-17, hourly tours starting at 10:15.
11-AUG to 05-SEP Sat, Sun, Hol 10-17, hourly tours starting at 10:15.
06-SEP to OCT Sat, Sun, Hol 10-17, tours at 10:15, 12:15, 14:15, 16:15.
NOV to FEB closed.
Park Day Use: Adults USD 1.
Cave: Adults USD 12, Children (6-11) USD 6, Children (0-5) free.
Proups (25+): Adults USD 10, Children (6-11) USD 4.
|Dimension:||L=1,600 m, T=17 °C.|
|Guided tours:||L=1,600 m, D060 min, V=53,000/a|
|Address:||Rickwood Caverns State Park, 370 Rickwood Park Rd., Warrior, AL 35180-9803, Tel. +1-205-647-9692 or +1-205-647-6892. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1950s||discovered by a troop of Boy Scouts and their leader, Eddie Rickles.|
|1954||opened to the public.|
|1974||sold to the state of Alabama.|
Rickwood caverns is located in Rickwood Caverns State Park near Warrior, Blount County, Alabama. The cave and the surrounding ground became a Park in 1974, previously it was privately owned. The descriptions are often full of fancy words and phrases and we guess they were adopted from the former commercial cave. But we guess a State Park could rewrite in almost 40 years and give scientific explanations instead of fancy curiosities. The cave has a tour called the miracle mile, there are "living formations, spring-fed pools, and other curiosities".
Actually wet formations which grow are called living formations, while dry ones which do not grow are called dead. This rather old theory interprets the live and death of a flowstone similar to an animal. This theory has been proven wrong many decades ago. With physical methods for dating the layers of flowstones, it was found that flowstones frequently fall dry, stop growing for years or even many thousands of years, just to start growing again as if nothing had happened. So offering a rather common and actually rather banal fact as a big attraction should not be the niveau of a State Park. However, they even tell the cave would show "...evidence that the cave was carved from an ocean bed...". This is such a weird theory, we guess the author has never seen a geology book from the outside.
The cave is actually very interesting, so interpret the stories of the guide as nonsene and enjoy the cave instead. There are numerous fine formations, stalagmites, stalactites, pillars, rimstone pools and calcite crytsals. The cave passage is a typical river passage, often meandering, rather narrow and high. This is a result of the time when the cave was filled with acave river.
The rocks were formed 260Ma ago during the Triassic, a period called Mississippian in the U.S.A.. A shallow, oxygene rich sea deposited the remains of animals, mostly calcareous shells and skeltons. The result was limestone containing a huge amount of fossils. The fossils were sculpted from the rock by the processes which formed the cave. The reason was simply the higher resistance against weathering by fossils which consist of calcite crystals instead of rock.
The cave has a subterranean lake which may have a waterfilled connection to other cave passages. Divers in the early 1970s went about 7 m into the passage but at a depth of 20m they had to turn around. The exploration was never continued. The lake contains numerous trogolbites, the cave crayfish and blind cave fish. There are also frogs and salamanders found in the cave.
The cave was known to the locals for a long time, the evidence are graffities on the wall dated in the 1890s. But the official date of discovery was in the 1950s, when the was rediscovered by a troop of Boy Scouts and their leader, Eddie Rickles. Rickles decided to develop the cave as an attraction created a partnership with Sonny Arwood to develop the property. From Rickles and Arwood they created the artificial name Rickwood for the cave. They operated the cave for 20 years until they sold to the State of Alamaba