Description: Hidden beneath main street in Horse Cave, Hidden River Cave offers cave tours, museum tours, a zipline, and rappelling.
Website: Hidden River Cave
Cost: Cave tours: Adults - $15, Children 6-15 - $10, Children 5 & Under - Free. Zipline and Rappeling: $20 single trip, double trip $30, triple trip $35, 4+ $5 additional per trip.
Age appropriate: Ages 4 and up.
Money saving tips: Check to see if their are any current Groupon, Living Social, or SnagMob deals.
Worth noting: Reservations are not required for the public guided tours and include the American Cave Museum at no extra charge. Tours are scheduled beginning at 9:30 AM every morning. Tours last about 1 hour and only 1 tour group is in the cave at a time. Wild Cave Tours are available - see the website for reservation information and cost. This cave was featured on Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" series. The cave has a river running through it and contains a historic hydroelectric generating system. Cave tours require a lot of stairs and I strongly suggest that those in poor health or with breathing issues wait in the museum. You can do it all in an afternoon.
Attractions nearby: Kentucky Down Under, Mammoth Cave National Park, Dinosaur World, Guntown Mountain.
Unfortunately, we choose the busiest Saturday of the year to visit Hidden River Cave (the 1st Saturday in August, which is the last weekend before school started back here in our part of KY). The sky was very overcast and it looked like rain could fall at anytime. I was hoping to get the husband, teen, and tween on the zipline before touring the cave, but the wait was about 2 hours upon our arrival. Thankfully a cave tour was just getting started. The staff quickly caught us up to the departing group.
Having been on 3 previous cave tours (2 in Mammoth, 1 in Lost River) we thought it would be pretty similar. It was not. It was a very different experience.
Our group was small - just 10 of us - much smaller than the large groups that are taken through Mammoth. It had a much more personal feel to it.
The mouth of the cave is huge! If your timing is right, you'll see folks rappelling right there at the entrance and you'll hear the zip of the zipline straight overhead (that's 70+ feet above).
Our tour guide was very informative and well-versed in the history of the cave. The river moving through the cave necessitated strategic stops so we could hear him.
Going down all the steps into the cave was the easy part of the tour. As we moved much farther into the cave and past a platform where we searched the water for cave creatures the air changed and it became harder to breath. Our guide assured us this is normal and that we would be fine.
The husband, teen, and tween all made it across once. Two of them went twice. The husband reported it "was smooth as butter". The teen expected it to bounce, but it did not and he, too, remarked about how smooth a ride it was. All in all it was a BIG hit and they would tell you it was the highlight of the day. None of us have every ziplined before so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I'll tell you it was a big hit with our crew and others there were really enjoying it too!
I got some great photos from the platform outside the elevator. You can also go down below to shoot photos/video, but I didn't want to just get a bottom-up view. I hope they'll put in a viewing platform in the future that will allow observers to view the entire zip line.
The guys running the zipline were great! They kept things light and fun and interacted with all of the guests. Safety measures appeared to be taken seriously.
All in all it was a great half day trip!
Disclaimer: I received passes from Hidden River Cave in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed above are 100% mine.