Celebrating the first National Day of Caves
At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the mountain top theme park is getting a new addition for the summer with the construction of the Haunted Mine Drop ride.
“It’s a drop tower,” owner Steve Beckley said. “We actually drop you down a 110 foot shaft we mined here.”
It brings big changes above ground, while below the surface and behind airtight doors, one of the top-rated caves in the country is changing too.
“We're making sure we keep the humidity so all the formations are still growing, although they grow slowly,” Beckley said.
Much of the nearly four miles of caverns has been discovered in the last 20 years.
It’s one of the reasons Beckley is excited for June 6 – the first ever National Day of Caves.
“All the commercial caves in the United States are celebrating National Cave Day,” Beckley said.
Each year, more than 200,000 people visit the Glenwood Caverns. The hope is that with the National Day of Caves, more will follow.
“Our number one attraction is still the caves,” Beckley said.
Aside from being a tourist attraction, scientists have been studying bacteria in caves for use as new antibiotics and dozens of new pseudoscorpions have been discovered in the Glenwood Caverns alone.
“It’s such a unique experience going underground and seeing all the amazing geology and the biology,” Beckley said.
Just below the theme park is a hidden world Beckley says is every bit as exciting as it is enchanting.
“It’s not just this cave but caves all across the United States,” Beckley said. “Every cave is different and there are amazing caves everywhere.”