Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Writings on the Wall

Men at Lost River Cave when the dam was being built.

Lost River Cave Historical Photo

With over 600 known miles of cave passages networking their way through South-Central Kentucky, many residents of these areas are well aware of our unique underground. Even with this, massive subterranean caves in the region are still being forgotten and our children continue to grow up without ever experiencing this frontier. Perhaps this can be accounted to a lack of knowledge, or maybe you’re just not quite ready to shell out $150 for a headlamp that boasts a 200 lumen light… especially when you’re not even sure what the heck a lumen is. Regardless of the reason, caves remain a valuable, entertaining, and hands-on way to educate our children on a variety of topics ranging from safety to science, to interpretive storytelling.

Every cave has a story to tell, from the writings on the wall, to the way the carbonic acid carved its way through the soluble bedrock; and nearly every caver will agree it is a major reason to venture into the dark (with at least three sources of light of course).  Did you know over a dozen names of both Confederate and Union soldiers are written on the cave walls with smoke at Lost River Cave? All of these soldiers called the Lost River Valley home during their respective encampments. Of course, this is merely a speck of Lost River Cave’s timeline that has spanned hundreds of thousands of years.

With so much raw maturity, it’s no wonder why caves remain such a beautiful and fragile environment. For many first time cavers, simply seeing this maturity from an up-close perspective is enough to instill a genuinely profound, lasting respect for the natural world which, as you can imagine, truly helps in our conservation efforts of these karst features.

Rewind to the days of oil lanterns and manila rope, when the excitement of caving lay in the thrill of discovery. When early guides like Stephen Bishop, who discovered most of what is today Mammoth Cave, would spend days at a time traversing passages, that back then, had more than likely never seen a footstep.  It’s what keeps cavers coming back; the thought that, at any point, only a handful of people have ever witnessed the same jaw-dropping formation.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way advocating throwing on an old pair of Levis, grabbing the closest BIC lighter and taking to the underground. Proper caving requires much more organization and planning. There’s equipment to gather, people to inform, batteries to check, and maps to read. All of which can result in a serious headache for the under-experienced. Then, there’s the final issue of tracking down a knowledgeable guide. This has to be someone who’s undoubtedly familiar with the cave and knows the challenges the group may face (I say ‘group’ because a general rule is to never go caving in groups of less than three

Kid's Discovery Cave Crawl

Now, beginning April 14, Lost River Cave can help your children ‘dig deeper’ into this environment by way of our new Kid’s Discovery Cave Crawl. This tour is designed for children ages 6-12. It not only gives children an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Civil War soldiers and famed speleo-explorers while learning safe caving practices, but also allows them the chance to fulfill one of their earliest fascinations… to get dirty. And by dirty, we mean REALLY DIRTY!


Guest Writer

Outdoor Adventure Journalist, Danny Dresser

Give the gift of the natural world for the Holidays.

Junior Naturalist Program at Lost River Cave

The Junior Naturalist program, for young people ages 6 to 12, is a gift that will encourage your child to explore nature all year. The group will meet every other month to discover, investigate, have adventures and fun in the outdoors.

Programs at the Nature Center at Lost River Cave are designed to give young people hands-on experience with protection and preservation of the earth’s ecological, geological, and historical features through conservation, science and education.

This year… give the gift of the natural world to your child!


  • Holiday Package: All 6 Sessions $50.00 (that’s like getting one session FREE)
  • Individual sessions $10.00

Call or come by Wildflower Gifts at Lost River Cave to purchase the Junior Naturalist Program today!




Examine fundamentals of wildlife, botany and geology. We will also look at how to keep a nature journal and make our first entry.



Take a closer look at food, water, shelter and space found at the park and how they support the various habitats. The aquatic habitat will be examined by gearing up and going on an aquatic invertebrates search in the wetland, blue holes and spring.



May’s class will learn the parts of a plant, their use in the habitat and what to look at to identify wildflowers and trees.  We will also learn about invasive plants, and how they interfere with the habitat.



We’ll learn about insects, then head out into the field to see what we can collect and identify.  We will also meet the resident Nature Center reptile and learn about the basic characteristics of reptiles and amphibians.  Afterwards, it’s off to the field to check our drift fence traps and cover boards for all things that crawl and slither through the Valley, Prairie and Wetland of Lost River Cave.



Lost River Valley provides habitat for 150 species of birds.  We will handle feathers and bones to examine what makes a bird a bird. Bird beaks and other adaptations will show us how to determine what the birds eat and where they live.  While hiking, we will locate, identify and study birds with binoculars, field guides, and smart-phone applications.



During November’s meeting we will take a look at cave and karst geology.  We will learn about the three types of rocks that are interrelated through the rock cycle and the geological history of caves and the surrounding karst topography. We will end the year long class with a wild caving trip to look at the underground and reflect on what we have learned during the year.


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8th Annual Earth Day Invasive Plant Pull

It’s time to root out and destroy pesky plant invaders with at the 8th Annual Invasive Plant Pull!  In celebration of Earth Day, Lost River Cave and Valley invites you to spend an afternoon to help re-invigorate the valley floor, on Saturday, April, 23th from 1:00PM – 4:00PM. Bring your entire family and join other community members as they band together in an attempt to eradicate invasive plants from the Lost River Valley.

Pre-register so we can plan a plant plot for you to help pull pesky plants from the valley. Early-bird registrants will receive free Invasive Plant Pull t-shirts, Free Boat Tours, Door Prizes, and Gift Shop Discounts.  Volunteers can pre-register by visiting us online at to download the application. Applications can also be picked up at Lost River Cave and Valley located at 2818 Nashville Road in Bowling Green, KY or calling us at 270-393-0077.

The Invasive Plant Pull is an annual event at Lost River Cave & Valley offering individuals a chance to gain volunteer experience while teaching you to detect invasive plant species wherever you see them. With your help Lost River will one day be rid of the pesky sprouts that run rampantly over the 25-acre valley floor. Clearing plants like winter creeper and privet is easy work that provides much needed elbow room for our long suffering native plants. Your handiwork will be rewarded when you see that sunshine, rain and nutrients are helping to re-invigorate the forest floor with a carpet of ferns and native flowers that provide food and shelter for the valley’s native and migrating animals.


FRIENDS OF LOST RIVER is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The organization is committed to environmental education, community building, and natural resource preservation. Lost River Cave has been visited by travelers from all over the world who come to experience Kentucky’s Only Underground Boat Tour.

“Get Down with Dueling Pianos” was a MAJOR success!

After 20 years of hard work preserving and protecting the historic Lost River Cave & Valley, the awesome celebration, “Get Down with Dueling Pianos,” was well earned. Enjoy these pictures from last Friday night’s event! If you missed out this year, or just can’t wait to see the “Dueling Pianos” again, don’t fret! Dueling Pianos International will be back in full force next year!

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All photos by Laura Kissinger