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Discover 12 Incredible Caves in Georgia

Planning a trip to Georgia’s caves and caverns but unsure which are the best ones to visit? I’ve got you covered! Home to Black Sea beaches and the Caucasus Mountains villages, Georgia is a popular destination for spelunkers. The state has more than 500 caves that offer a unique caving experience. While most of these caves are on private land with limited access, there are still quite a few open to the public.

Whether you are a novice or skilled spelunker, there’s a lot to learn beneath the earth in the following top 12 caves in Georgia. Find out more information about each cave.

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

Ellison’s Cave

This is one of the deepest caves in Georgia. It is about 12 miles long with a vertical drop of about 1063 feet. Inside this cave are soluble limestone walls and the two deepest cave pits, known as the ‘Fantastic’ and ‘Incredible,’ which lie on opposite sides of the cave.

Exploring Ellison’s Cave is only recommended for experienced spelunkers because of the several challenges, like traversing the dark passageways.

Pettyjohn’s Cave

Pettyjohn’s cave is on the eastern side of Pigeon Mountain in Walkers County. It’s about 6.5 miles long with an entrance 4 feet wide, making it easy for beginner spelunkers to traverse. However, there are some low-lying and narrow areas, such as the Worm Tube, where one has to squeeze through.

Ensure you get the soothing sound of a stream flowing 20 feet below in the Bridge Room. During winter, one might spot little brown bats and tri-colored bats. The trails in this cave are muddy, so dress appropriately if you plan on exploring Pettyjohn’s cave.

Byers Cave

Located in the Fox Mountain Preserve, where Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee meet, Byers Cave is an ideal destination for you if you fancy challenging hikes. It’s pretty warm inside, making it comfortable to visit even in winter.

Besides cave exploration, you can participate in other outdoor activities like hiking Fox Mountain. The preserve is also perfect for camping, especially in neighboring places like Rising Fawn.

Howard’s Waterfall Cave

Are you a beginner or an experienced caver? Howard’s Waterfall Cave is a great place for both new and experienced cavers. The cave starts with 60 feet crawl, where you will get wet until you come to an open chamber in the Damp Cave.

On the left side of the open chamber in a gated area are the historical Cherokee inscriptions carved into the cave’s walls. The area is gated due to littering and vandalism in the past. To access the cave, you will need a Southeastern Cave Conservancy (SCCI) permit.

Rolater Park Cave Spring

Inside this cave is a little limestone cave accessible to anyone. It features beautiful stalagmites and divine rock formations dubbed “Devil’s Stool.” The cave offers hiking trails, picnic spots, swimming, and places to feed fish.

Are you fascinated by ghosts and paranormal activities? Rolater Cave is a perfect place for you because it’s haunted. Make sure you take a two-day Cave Spring Ghost Tour, normally held during Halloween every year.

Sitton’s Cave

Sitton’s Cave is located in the Rising Fawn area of Georgia. The cave has a massive opening, though the ceilings become lower as you go further, forcing you to crawl in the mud before emerging to an open room. Inside this cave, you will see other-worldly cave formations, such as soda straw stalactites and stalagmites. If getting muddy does not bother you, traveling along muddy banks in the underground river would be all fun.

Sitton’s cave is wet, and water is very prominent all year round. Therefore, cavers should wear warm waterproof clothing when exploring this cave. The cave is horizontal and does not require rope work or rappelling.

Case Cave

Case Cave is also located in Cloudland Canyon State Park. It’s a vertical cave that requires an explorer to know how to rappel and ascend a rope. To start with, you will need to descend 30 feet downward, exploring 3 miles of passageways with beautiful geological formations alongside a cave lake flowing inside. Take a guided tour to learn more about the cave formations.

Frick’s Cave

*Permanently closed

Frick’s Cave provides habitat to a large population of the endangered gray bat species and the rare Tennessee cave salamander. It’s located in north Georgia in Walker County near Lookout Mountain. Apart from spelunking, there are other options for camping in the primitive campsites within the area.

Unfortunately, Frick’s Cave is permanently closed to protect endangered species.

  • Address: 510 Fricks Gap Rd, Chickamauga, GA 30707, United States
  • Phone number: +1 423-771-9671
  • Entrance fee: The cave is permanently closed.
  • Google Maps link: Fricks Cave Preserve

Climax Caverns

Located at the Georgia/Florida border, Climax Caverns is one of the largest dry caves in the coastal plains of the United States. The cavern features incredible plant and animal fossils embedded in the cave rocks. Along the passages, you will see some of the unique geological wonders and even witness a waterfall.

Climax Caverns is home to rare animal species, including the Georgia blind salamander and southeastern myotis bat. The cavern is located on private property. Therefore, visitors must sign a safety release form and drop it off at the owner’s house.

  • Address: Close to the village of Climax, Georgia 39834, United States
  • Google Maps link: Climax

Glory Hole Caverns

Glory Hole Caverns is located in the middle of a field in northern Grady County. It’s an ideal place for experienced spelunkers. The cave’s entrance is in a sinkhole. After descending the main chamber, you will have to crawl through the passageways leading to spectacular geological features. The cavern is famous for its beautiful crystal star-like formations known as “Angel Wings” and “Granny Star.”

  • Address: Glory Hole, Georgia 31779, USA
  • Google Maps link: Glory Hole

Rusty’s Cave

Rusty’s Cave is one of the deepest caves located in Fox Moutain Preserve. It features numerous stunning formations, such as stalagmites and stalactites. You will need a rope and other essentials to descend and ascend the 45 feet cave’s depth. You may also engage in other activities like hiking within Fox Mountain Preserve.

Cemetery Pit Cave

Cemetery Pit Cave is another popular site to explore in Fox Mountain Preserve. The cave is not as scary as the name suggests. You will come to the entrance pit after descending about 153 feet. From here, you will traverse several rooms, including the famous ballroom, where you will uncover the wonders of the cave.

Final Thoughts

Ever wonder what’s beneath the earth? Spelunking is one of the ways to find out. The caves mentioned above in Georgia offer a large scope of learning, from astounding geological formations to endangered animal species. The rolling hills of the Fox Mountain Preserve, the vast size of Cloudland Canyon State Park, and the awe-inspiring cliffs of Pigeon Mountain might draw you into exploring Georgia’s spectacular caves and caverns.

Top image: wrcochran via Flickr / Creative Commons.

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