Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday's Features - Rickwood Caverns State Park in Warrior, AL
It's time for another of my Friday's Features and today I want to bring to your attention one of my favorite places to go in Alabama:
Rickwood Caverns State Park

Rickwood Caverns, a member of the National Caves Association, is a few miles from where I grew up and is a small state park, but full of atmosphere and fun. It's main feature is the cave which offers around a mile of underground wonders. The caverns themselves were water-formed during the Mississippian period over 260 million years ago, according to , and still have slow-flowing stalactites and stalagmites forming today.

The tour (my mother used to be a guide before I was born and when the land was privately owned) is shorter than most caves and is only about a mile, but the return to the upperworld can be strenuous as you have to climb 102 steps to the exit and gift shop above. I know I am huffin' and puffin' by the time I make it. The guides follow behind to help stragglers make it to the top.

The cave is not wheelchair accessible, unfortunately, and those having problems walking should probably not take the tour as the walkway can be muddy (clay mud) and slippery as well. There is no elevator access, even though one had been planned many years before and you can see the shaft today.

While touring you will see many different cave formations and an underground pool where the level of water rarely changes. It is pure and cold and they pump it up from the cave to fill the Olympic-sized pool above-ground. Blind fish have been seen in the pool, but in all the years I have gone into the cave, I have never been lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

One of my favorite websites - - says this, "The cave tour reveals shell fragments and fossils, underground pools, and marine life, such as the blind cave fish, among the colorful natural formations. Divers have found salamanders, frogs and transparent fish that have adapted to life in the dark ponds deep within the cave."

Aboveground, visitors can enjoy the camping facilities. There are a few spots for RV's and a large area for tents as well.
The pool and bathhouse is close by as well as a train - which has been a part of Rickwood since I was young - for kids and grown-ups alike to enjoy. I used to consider a trip to Rickwood's pool a highly coveted reward when I was a child and I haven't changed my mind. Whenever we are in town visiting family in the summer, I take my kids there for some fun in the pool.

The park is within a pine forest and has a playground that hasn't changed since I was a child. Huge slides, monkeybars and swings offer hours of enjoyment to all children.

There are hiking trails to enjoy as well, but remember that the mountainous area is full of rocks and in the summertime, snakes like to bask and hide.

Picnic tables and grills dot the area under the trees and among the rocks. All in all, it is a wonderful place to spend the day.

Operating Schedule:
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM daily

Seasonal Schedule:
March through Memorial Day-Weekends Only
Memorial Day through Labor Day- Everyday
September through October- Weekends Only
November through February- CLOSED
Cave Admission: Adults 12 and over - $8.00, children 6 thru 11 - $5.00
Park Admission: Ages 6 to adult - $1.00
Pool Fee: $3.00 a person
Group Tours: Special groups of 20 or more (school, civic, commercial organizations, etc.) can be arranged for by appointment, year-round.

Copyright Dana 2005
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Name: Dana
Location: Chicago, and if y'all call me a Yankee, I'll have to cyber-smack ya'!

I'm just a mom of two, a crafter of jewelry, and to keep my sanity among the Yankees (kidding)I write southern-themed poetry, short stories and memoirs. I have been published on the web on sites such as USA Deep South, Southern Humorists, Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal, Mosaic Minds and Long Story Short. I am also a contributor in Dew on the Kudzu and Weight-Loss where I write dieting humor.

And this is my blog... Kudzu, funny family stories, poems, family ghosts, snakes, sun-kissed southern memories all inside! Plus some travel reviews, recipes and more! I also make handcrafted jewelry! Check out my jewelry blog - Colors of the Woods

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Copyright  2005 Dana Sieben - All Rights Reserved

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