By Graham Pilotte
Louisville has many great places to visit, but there’s one location that should skyrocket to the top of your list. Louisville Mega Cavern has recently made TripAdvisor’s list of the Top 25 U.S. attractions – right alongside sites like the Grand Canyon, Fenway Park and Mount Rushmore. So if you haven’t visited this incredible place, consider this your call to action.
You may have heard of the Mega Cavern from its holiday light spectacular, Lights Under Louisville, but the cave has even more to offer during the rest of the year. “We call it the world’s only underground adventure park,” says Executive Vice-President Charles Park. Spanning almost one hundred acres, the Mega Cavern is actually one of the largest caverns in the United States, and it has room for anything from office space to zip lines. The cave started in the early 1900s as a limestone quarry, but has since developed into an amazing attraction for the city.
There are a number of ways for adventurers to check out the Mega Cavern; Park starts by recommending the zip lines. “We have the world’s only fully underground zip lines,” he explains proudly. “We have six lines, taking up 68,000 square feet. You have the opportunity to zip against friends, to cross-country zip or to zip over the original state of the cavern when it was mined – there’s a little creek running underneath you.” The zip lines may be his favorite part of the cave, he says. “But I love all my children the same,” Park asserts with a laugh.
He’s referring to the cave’s other immense attractions – five main divisions in total – and there really is something for everyone. For example, for those who may want a slightly tamer trip than zip lining, Park suggests the tram tours. “You can take a tram tour to learn about our history,” he explains, “really see the historical nature and explore some educational elements. And it’s like the VIP tour of business operations.” The tram tours bring up green building technology, geology, mining and the cave’s history. Trams are pulled by SUVs while an expert guides guests through an hour-long highlight reel of the site, making for a very interesting experience.
The cavern’s bike park is another unique attraction. “You have BMX riders jumping ten, twenty feet in the air,” Park says, “and you also have smaller trails for families. Those are especially great in the wintertime since the cavern stays about 60 degrees year-round.” So experienced bikers can try their hand underground, while families can beat the August heat or the January cold by cycling on one of the 45 trails. Bike rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis; of course, helmets are required.
If you’d like a little more adventure, try the guided electric bike tour – the only tour where guests can see all areas of the cavern and spend a moment in complete darkness. Or there’s Mega Quest, a fully underground aerial ropes course that’s a great team building challenge for families, groups of friends or even work colleagues.
Making the TripAdvisor list of Top 25 U.S. Attractions is a great source of pride for the Mega Cavern. “We do attract people from all across the nation,” Park says. “More than anything, I want to thank our staff and our marketing team as well. I’m so appreciative of all their time and effort.” He’s excited for what will come next and for more people to find out about the Louisville Mega Cavern. With everything from zip lines to bike trails, there’s something for everyone, and it’s a new place to explore for visitors and locals alike. “Nobody expects an underground cavern right in the middle of Louisville,” Park says with a smile. “We’re Louisville’s hidden gem.” VT
The Mega Cavern
1841 Taylor Avenue