Tumbling Rock Christmas Party
Looking for a different way to celebrate the holiday season? Join us on December 7 for the first Christmas Party at Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve! Make plans now to join us. Buy tickets here.
The day will start at 10:00 with caving! The cave will be open all day if you want to stop by to explore.  If you've never been to the cave or are new to caving, you can meet up with several groups very familiar with the cave. The Christmas tree formation about halfway through the cave will be illuminated with beautiful Christmas lights. This will be the 5th year the Christmas tree has featured lights during the holiday season.
Cave all day, but be back out of the cave and cleaned up by 6:00 for a banquet. We'll move inside a large, heated tent for a delicious dinner. The dinner will be catered by Carlisle's, a restaurant in nearby Scottsboro.  After eating a great dinner with other cavers, we have some special presentations lined up. Chuck Lundquist and Bill Varnadoe, two of the original explorers of Tumbling Rock, will give a presentation about the early exploration of the cave. In addition, Pat Kambesis will discuss her mapping project in the cave.
It will be a fun day and evening full of caving, time with your friends, good food, and getting to know cavers you haven't had a chance to meet. Plan to join us! If you want to camp, tent camping sites are available.
Space is limited. $40 per person. Advance tickets only. No tickets will be available at the door.
If you don't want to buy tickets online, you can also purchase tickets by mailing in a check to the address on our web site. The ticket price covers the many costs associated with putting on a first class event - including catering, a heated tent, table and chair rental, etc.
Run To The Mill cave is a TAG classic, with a deep pit, miles of passage, and large borehole. The cave is over 15,000 feet long and 445 feet deep, with a 167-foot deep pit. It's truly a caver's cave.
Support This Purchase! Buy a Piece of a Cave Preserve! This is our newest purchase, and it cost $200,000. We rely on donations to keep a steady stream of money coming in so we can finance future purchased like this cave. Your donation will be used to pay for this purchase, and donors help us fund all of the wonderful cave preserves we own. You may select a specific preserve and you’ll receive a thank-you gift of your choice. To provide ongoing support, please consider signing up as a Sustaining Member. Our sustainers give us the monthly income we need to pay for our caves and to purchase new caves. You may also make a general donation to support our work across the southeast. We are able to purchase caves we all love because of YOU!
 
Entrance to Run To The Mill Cave

The entrance to Run To The Mill is the Grassy Cove area of Tennessee and is located in a large sinkhole with an inflowing wet weather stream. After entering the cave, you maneuver through some tight passage before emerging into walking passage. Visitors soon have to maneuver past several climbdowns to continue on, working their way through walking passage, more climbs, and some route finding. Visitors will soon encounter the top of a series of drops, that eventually lead to the 167-foot Tilted Well. At the bottom of the pit, explorers will find huge borehole stream passage, and the passage just keeps getting bigger. The passage ends in a sump.
Important note: Do NOT enter this cave if there is ANY chance of heavy rains or flash flooding. The cave does flood to the ceiling.
Run To The Mill Cave

Run To The Mill Cave


Run To The Mill Cave


Run To The Mill Cave


Preserve Information:
Acreage: ~73.0 acres
Preserve Management Team: Buddy Lane, Brad Tipton, and Jeff Patton. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
Access:To request a permit, visit http://permits.scci.org  Cave is closed September thru April. Closure is dependant on bat activity.
Preserve MapsCave Map | Land Survey | Tilted Well Map
The SCCi is extremely pleased to announce our newest cave preserve, Run To The Mill. This cave is a TAG classic, with a deep pit, beautiful formation areas, miles of passage, and large borehole. The cave is over 15,000 feet long and 445 feet deep, with a 167-foot deep pit. It's a caver's cave. And it's one more cave that we can permanently remove from the TAG Closed Cave List.
Support This Purchase! Buy a Piece of a Cave Preserve! This is our newest purchase, and it cost $200,000. We need your help to pay for it.  You'll receive a thank-you gift of your choice. To provide ongoing support and help us fund other purchases of other amazing caves, please consider signing up as a Sustaining Member. Our sustainers give us the monthly income we need to pay for our caves and to purchase new caves. You may also make a general donation to support our work across the southeast. We are able to purchase caves we all love because of YOU!

We signed the closing paperwork transferring ownership of the property to the SCCi just last week, so we're still creating a management committee and defining access policies. We will post all of the information about how to visit the cave as soon as we can. In the meantime, to give you a better idea of why this cave is such a fantastic purchase for the SCCi and all of our members, here are just a few photos of the cave Buddy Lane provided. We look forward to seeing photos from all of you now that cavers can once again visit this wonderful cave. For even more photos, please visit our Facebook page.


Entrance to Run To The Mill Cave
Entrance to Run To The Mill


 Run To The Mill Cave
One of many formation areas in Run To The Mill

Run To The Mill Cave
The top of Tilted Well, a 167-foot deep pit in the cave

Run To The Mill
Looking up the pit in Run To The Mill

 
Run To The Mill Cave
Borehole in the lower level of Run To The Mill

We would like to thank all of the people who support the SCCi with your time and money. It's thanks to our supporters that we are able to finance such incredible purchases. If you are happy about this new cave purchase, please consider supporting us!
To help you get the information you need about our cave preserves, we have Regional Stewardship Coordinators who support our property managers and our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have any questions about a cave in a particular state, try to contact the property manager for the cave you're interested in first. If you have any problems contacting the property manager, you may contact our regional coordinators at any time for help.
Brian Killingbeck: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Brian helps manage all preserves in Alabama.
John Hickman: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
John helps manage all preserves in Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia
Brad Tipton: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brad helps manage all preserves in Georgia and Florida.
Below is a brief outline of the SCCi's events. Follow the title links to learn more details about each. We hope to see soon!
Bats Beer & Bluegrass

Bats Beer and Bluegrass is an annual fundraiser held at Fricks Cave Preserve in September. The event includes a catered dinner and live blue grass music.
SCCi Board Meetings
Are you interested in the inner workings of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy? We hold quarterly board meetings and members are welcome to attend our open afternoon sessions.
Annual Members' Meeting
Each year, the Board of Directors holds an Annual Members' Meeting and cookout. Click here for more information on the next meeting.
Member Appreciation Day at Fricks
Have you had the chance to visit Fricks Cave in Georgia? Fricks is Georgia’s richest biologic spelean environment hosting 10,000 endangered Gray Bats and Georgia’s only known population of the rare Tennessee Cave Salamander. Due to the presence of the Federally Endangered Gray Bats this cave is normally closed to visitation. Once a year, while the bats are gone for the winter, the Board of Directors hosts an Open House to give the members an opportunity to visit this beautiful cave. Check back for information on the 2016 Open House.
TAG Fall Cave In
Each year the SCCi sets up a booth at the TAG Fall Cave-In, a fundraiser hosted by Dogwood City Grotto based out of Atlanta, GA. Join us at our booth on Friday evening, 8:00 EST, to learn about what we have accomplished over the last year. We hope that you will take this opportunity to meet us in person and hear our latest news. You may also stop by any time over the weekend to make a donation, renew your membership, and receive a nice thank you gift!
 
The SCCi owns or manages several properties that have been vandalized, abused or used as illegal dump sites. Individuals and organizations wanting to help in the clean-up of these properties and sites are welcomed and encouraged by the SCCi. The following policy is designed to protect the  properties, the caves, their artifacts, and their biota, and to ensure fairness to those desiring to conduct clean-up projects at our preserves. If you're interested in conducting a cleanup trip in one of our caves, apply for a permit SCCi Cleanup Permit, or contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for more information.
When is a Clean-up Permit required?

  • A permit is not required when the maximum group size for a preserve will not be exceeded or for trips where only trash or small debris removal is anticipated.

  • A permit is required when the maximum group size for a preserve will be exceeded, formations repaired, graffiti or paint removed, when an entrance or entrance sink is cleaned, or when removal of appliances or large quantities of debris and trash is anticipated.


SCCi Policy for Permitted Clean-up Projects

  1. All qualifying individuals and organizations wishing to engage in a clean-up project on SCCi owned or managed properties must submit an application to the SCCi Stewardship Chair. The Stewardship Chair will review the application and if approved, the individual or organization will enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the SCCi that describes the responsibilities of both parties.

  2. A summary of the proposed clean-up shall be submitted before all permitted clean-up trips. The summary should include estimated numbers of participants, date of proposed trip(s), cleaning methods to be used, section(s) to be cleaned, funding if any, and any related information pertinent to the clean-up. If hauling systems are to be used, elaborate on system, methods used, erosion control, biota protection and grounds restoration planned (see “SCCi Clean-up Permit Application”).

  3. Applicants must submit their qualifications to conduct such a project.

  4. Applicants must reveal any funding involved in the project, and any contracts or subcontracts involved in such project.

  5. Applicants will be responsible for obtaining any necessary permits. Copies of required permits will be provided with the approved application.

  6. A signed liability release is required for each participant. Release forms will be provided by the SCCi Property Manager or Representative.

  7. Applicants will provide sanitation facilities if group size mandates.

  8. Before any cleaning begins, an inventory or survey of the affected area of the preserve or cave must be performed and presented to the Stewardship Chair. Inventories shall include listings and locations, and where appropriate, photographs, of any historical graffiti of possible significance,  petroglyphs, drawings and or possible art, formation areas, and cave life. A careful eye is required to determine the origin of such items. It is recommended an archaeologist or other qualified personnel be enlisted for this inspection.

  9. An appointed SCCi Representative will be present at all clean-ups and have sole authority to halt the clean-up if unacceptable or unsafe practices are observed or the SCCi Clean-up Policy is not adhered to.

  10. Applicant is responsible for maintaining a sign-in/sign-out list. A copy of this list must be provided in the final report.

  11. Use bristle type brushes for removal of graffiti or paint – either natural or man made fiber is acceptable. If more aggressive metal or steel brushes are necessary, approval by the SCCi Representative is required.

  12. Graffiti and paint removal will begin with the least-invasive removal methods before more aggressive methods are employed.

  13. Generators may be used to supply electricity for lights and ventilation only. Under no circumstances will electrical power tools, sand blasting or glass bead blasting be permitted.

  14. Areas not to be cleaned will be clearly defined and marked.

  15. If trash collection containers are used, approval for placement by the SCCi Representative is required.

  16. Applicant is responsible for the removal and disposal of collected materials, unless otherwise stated.

  17. A final report must be submitted within a reasonable time to the Stewardship Chair upon completion of any permitted clean-up trip. Reports should include:



  • Date(s) of clean-up trip.

  • List of participants.

  • Signed release forms for all participants.

  • Details of section(s) cleaned, including photographs of before and after shots of the affected

  • area or passage(s) when possible.

  • List of products used, i.e. solutions, brushes, etc. If cleaning solutions are used,

  • manufacturer data sheets must be provided.

  • Any cave life disturbed.

  • Any hazardous materials found or disturbed.


 Application Review and Approval Procedure

  1. Completed clean-up applications are to be sent to the Stewardship Chair.

  2. The Stewardship Chair is responsible for:

    • Reviewing the application and seeking any additional specialists if necessary to evaluate the application.

    • Providing oversight for the clean-up project if the application is approved.



  3. For properties not owned by the SCCi, the Stewardship Chair shall provide a copy of the proposed permit to the owner and obtain the owner’s permission for the project. If the issue is addressed in the management contract, then the Stewardship Chair will abide by the management contract. Deviations from management contracts will be brought before the Board Chair for approval.

  4. The Stewardship Chair will review the application in a timely fashion but may take up to one (1) month to review and give a recommendation to approve or disapprove to the Board Chair.

  5. The Board Chair will approve or disapprove the application.

  6. The Stewardship Chair should identify any problems, issues, and other items that need to be addressed in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). These items may include but are not limited to:
    Restrictions or guidelines on collection or cleaning techniques.

    • Disposal of material collected.

    • Collection and disposal of human waste.

    • Designation of an individual to represent the SCCi during the course of the project.

    • Exceptions to numbers of individuals normally allowed in cave.



  7. The Stewardship Chair is responsible for developing the MOA and sending it to the Board Chair for approval before sending it to the applicant.

  8. The Stewardship Chair is responsible for notifying the applicant.

  9. Any issues related to the MOA must be negotiated by the Stewardship Chair before it is sent to the Board Chair for final signature.

  10. Amendments to the MOA that are suggested after the Clean-up has begun are the responsibility of the Stewardship Chair and the SCCi Representative.


 

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Sustaining Membership is a way to save caves month after month after month. Your monthly gift makes it possible for SCCi to make long-term plans to acquire and protect caves.

Your Sustaining Membership conveniently makes regular, monthly donations billed to your credit/debit card or directly from your checking account. 

More than 500 people have committed to a sustaining membership with monthly gifts ranging from $5 to over $300. That commitment makes it possible for us to purchase preserves like Tumbling Rock and Run to the Mill.

Your Sustaining Membership includes all the perks of membership:

  • SCCi's email newsletter
  • Membership Card & Lanyard
  • Stickers for your car and gear
  • Invitation to Member Only Events
  • Discount Bats Beer & Bluegrass tickets
  • $10 off your next $100 order at InnerMountain Outfitters

Use the form below to start or change your monthly gift.