Rickwood Caverns State Park

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Rickwood Caverns State Park
Alabama State Park
Warrior Caves.jpg
Country United States
State Alabama
County Blount
Elevation 968 ft (295 m) [1]
Coordinates 33°52′57″N 86°51′45″W / 33.88250°N 86.86250°W / 33.88250; -86.86250Coordinates: 33°52′57″N 86°51′45″W / 33.88250°N 86.86250°W / 33.88250; -86.86250 [1]
Area 380 acres (154 ha)
Opened to public 1954
 - State purchase 1974
Management Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Rickwood Caverns State Park is located in Alabama
Rickwood Caverns State Park
Location in Alabama
Rickwood Caverns State Park is located in the US
Rickwood Caverns State Park
Location in Alabama
Website: Rickwood Caverns State Park

Rickwood Caverns State Park is a publicly owned recreation area and natural history preserve located 7 miles (11 km) north of Warrior, Alabama.[2] The 380-acre (150 ha) state park offers tours of caverns with illuminated limestone formations estimated to be 260 million years old, blind cave fish, and an underground pool.[3]

History[edit]

The caverns were brought to public attention by Eddie Rickles and Sonny Arwood who combined their own names to create the name "Rickwood." Rickles had come across the caves in the early 1950s as the leader of a Boy Scout troop exploring the area. Rickwood Caverns operated as a commercial entity from 1954 to 1974, when the property was acquired by the state and reopened as a state park.[3] The funding crisis of 2015, which saw the closing or reassignment to local authorities of five Alabama state parks,[4] resulted in the seasonal closing of Rickwood Caverns, which had been a year-round operation until that time.[2] The park had been threatened with closure since as early as 2009.[5] As of April 2016, the park reopened and is hoping to operate on a year round basis. [6]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park surrounding the caverns features 380 acres of wilderness, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, picnic area with shelters, hiking trails, playground, campground, panning for gemstones and gift shop.[7] Described as "mysterious and beautiful",[8] the caverns feature guided tours of the so-called "miracle mile" of active "living" formations, 300 million year old fossils which are clearly visible in the soft limestone walls, spring-fed pools, and other curiosities.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Rickwood Caverns State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ a b "Rickwood Caverns State Park". Alabama State Parks. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Ress, Thomas V. (April 20, 2012). "Rickwood Caverns State Park". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Alabama Humanities Foundation. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ Moseley, Brandon (December 26, 2015). "State to shut down Outdoor Alabama magazine". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  5. ^ Gholson, Ron (March 4, 2009). "Rickwood Caverns State Park targeted for possible closing". The Blount Countian. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  6. ^ "State Parks accepting concession bids for Buck's Pocket and Rickwood Caverns". Alabama State Parks (Press release). Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Our Traveling Correspondent". The Mountain Democrat. Placerville, California. January 1, 1976. 
  8. ^ Chipkin, Harvey (November 23, 1992). "State aims to lure ecotourists with its natural attractions". Travel Weekly. Alabama's mysterious and beautiful caves and caverns include Sequoyah Caverns, Desoto Caverns, Rickwood Caverns and Russell Cave National Monument. 
  9. ^ Chipkin, Harvey (April 1, 1991). "Destination: Alabama". Travel Weekly. 

External links[edit]