Three Caves Quarry
THREE CAVES QUARRY IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
CHECK THE LANDTRUST WEBSITE FOR UPDATES
How to get there: (from the website) Going North on California Street turn right onto Hermitage Drive. Go to the end of the street and turn left onto Kennamer Street; go to last gate at end of street. Park in The Land Trust parking lot.
To hike there: The quickest route is to
take California to Hermitage, turn left onto Cleermont and park at the Wildflower
Trail parking lot. Take the Wildflower Trail back to the Sinkhole Trail junction,
take the Sinkhole Trail to the Alms House Trail Junction and go to the right.
Three Caves Loop Trail Junction is about .5 miles away and you can walk through
the caves yourself at any time of the year. Check www.briartech.com for a map
of the area.
What to expect: There are free tours all through the summer and you can arrange a private tour (details at the website above) during the summer for a minimal charge. They allow youth group camping as well.
There is a porta-potty at the parking lot, the tour guide will have extra flashlights on-hand and you will need a flashflight to go on the walk through the caves. It is never totally dark, so small kids should not have much trouble. The caves are quite cool, as all caves are, and a light jacket would not be a bad idea.
I recommend taking a guided tour before hiking back there alone, if for nothing else than to appreciate the history of the area. Do not get off the marked trails inside the quarry. This is a recovering area and the less impact, the faster the recovery.
The photos are from different trips in 2005, 2006 and 2007
The quarry was amazing, well worth the visit. They practiced a limestone mining method called column and room mining, where they left huge columns of rock to hold up the roof.
More of the amazing columns through the quarry.
There is some water dripping into the quarry now, causing 'cave' conditions to exist. There are small stalagtites, cave pearls and several other cave formations in the process of growing.
After going through the inside tour, we walked around the loop trail that circles the mining pit and offers another view of the quarry and another level of appreciation for the amount of work it took to create such a place. This trail links up with several others in the Huntsville Land Trust's properties.