At the 1995 SCCi Annual Meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, Bill Varnedoe and Carl Craig announced that Cavers Incorporated, a non-profit organization located in Huntsville, would turn over its assets, including Glove Pit, to the Southeastern Cave Conservancy. Cavers Inc. was formed by a group of Alabama cavers in the mid 1980's to accept the donation of Glove Pit from a landowner concerned about liability. The SCCi board accepted the donation and expressed its appreciation for the pioneering work done by Cavers Inc.


Support the SCCi! Buy a Piece of a Cave Preserve! Your donation will be used to pay for all of the wonderful cave preserves we have recently purchased. 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 YOUR support. Help us buy even more amazing caves in the future!
NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy and follow the guidelines to clean and disinfect your gear before and after visiting this cave.
Preserve Information:
Acreage: 0.4 acres in Madison County, Alabama
Property Manager: Jim Hall (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open. Very limited parking area. Do not block the road or impede traffic.

 
Frick's Cave. Photo by Alan Cressler.
Frick's Cave. Photo by Alan Cressler.

Frick's Cave in Georgia is the summer home of over 10,000 endangered gray bats, Georgia's only known population of the rare Tennessee cave salamander, and 33.8 acres of north Georgia karstland. Without a doubt, Frick's is Georgia's richest biologic spelean environment. It is one of only two gray bat caves in Georgia. The cave is in Walker County on the eastern flank of Lookout Mountain.
SCCi took ownership at the closing on June 10, 1997. Financing for this acquisition was provided by the Georgia Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Additional support was provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Frick's Cave is closed to all visitation, except as authorized by the SCCi board, due to the presence of the endangered bats and salamanders. Entry into the cave may constitute harassment as defined in Section 9 of the federal Endangered Species Act and is punishable by imprisonment and fines up to $50,000. Please respect the endangered wildlife in this delicate cave.
SCCi hosts an annual Member Appreciation Day at the preserve each winter to allow SCCi members and guests to tour the cave when the bats are not present.
Frick's Cave. Photo by Alan Cressler.
Frick's Cave. Photo by Alan Cressler.

Support SCCi! Buy a Piece of a Cave Preserve! Your donation will be used to pay for all of the wonderful cave preserves we have recently purchased. 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 YOUR support. Help us buy even more amazing caves in the future!
Preserve Information:
Acreage: 33.8 acres in Walker County, Georgia
Preserve Management Team: ET Davis (Lead) and Allen Padgett (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: The cave is closed to protect endangered cave life. Access for research is by special arrangement. Permits for preserve access can be requested at permits.scci.org.

 
Frenchman Knob Cave
Frenchman Knob Cave, photo by Bob Biddix

Frenchman Knob Cave is located in Hart County, Kentucky. It's one of the deepest pits in Kentucky and has an interesting history.  Noted cave historian Angelo George wrote an article about this cave, explaining that the hill where the cave is located got its name because a Frenchman [Gilbert LeClerc] was killed and scalped on top of it. The cave in on the top of the hill and is now called Frenchman Knob Cave. Early settlers believed the pit to be bottomless, and even perhaps a route to China. Rumors about the cave spurred local cave explorers to explore the mysterious cave in 1949. Using a 160 foot rope ladder, one local boy climbed down into the cave and found a large room. Angelo George writes: "He signaled back to his companions about the big cave at the bottom, and they all climbed down to see the cave. During their exploration, they found evidence that they were not the first to descend into the depths of Frenchman Knob Pit. Dyer says they found signatures and an 1895 date on the wall, which may have been by the orig­inal successful explorers of the pit cave." To read Angelo George's article, you may request a copy of the article "Frenchman Knob, The Bottomless Pit in Kentucky" in the Journal of Spelean History from the National Speleological Society's library. You may also read some interesting history of the cave on the Bacon Creek History Society's website.


In recent years, biologists discovered a colony of endangered Indiana bats hibernate in the cave. The SCCi acquired this cave to protect the bat colony.
Support the SCCi! Buy a Piece of a Cave Preserve! Your donation will be used to pay for all of the wonderful cave preserves we have recently purchased. 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 YOUR support. Help us buy even more amazing caves in the future!
Preserve Information:
Acreage: 38.61 acres in Hart County, Kentucky
Preserve Management Team: (Chairman) Steve Miller and Pat Kambesis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: 
To request a permit, visit http://permits.scci.org Closed Sep 1 - Apr 30.

Frenchman Knob Cave
Frenchman Knob Cave, photo by Bob Biddix


Cemetery Pit, Fox Mountain Preserve. Photo by JV Van Swearingen, IV
Cemetery Pit, Fox Mountain Preserve. Photo by JV Van Swearingen, IV

The Fox Mountain preserve is one of SCCi's richest cave and karst preserves. The area has a long history with cavers, and contains several of the finest caves in TAG. Cemetery Pit has long been a favorite of vertical cavers, due to its 153' entrance pit, large rooms, and almost 3 miles of passages. Hurricane Cave is also a local favorite, with over a mile of passage. Rusty's Cave is one of the deepest caves in the state, in spite of the fact that its 45' entrance pit is the only rope-work required in the cave. The purchase of Byer's Cave added another significant cave to the preserve in 2006 as well as additional acreage. Byer's Cave was previously closed to visitors for decades. Several smaller caves are also known on the property, and new caves will undoubtedly be discovered in the more remote northern section of the preserve.
Currently, the historic entrance to Hurricane Cave (through the pipe) is closed, but the SCCi is actively meeting and working with the DOT and DNR to try to regain access through that entrance. Recent construction and survey activity around the entrance and the ends of the access tunnel are part of that project.
Support the SCCi! Buy a Piece of a Cave Preserve! Your donation will be used to pay for all of the wonderful cave preserves we have recently purchased. 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 YOUR support. Help us buy even more amazing caves in the future!
NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy and follow the guidelines to clean and disinfect your gear before and after visiting this cave preserve.
Preserve Information:
Acreage: 448.6 acres in Dade County, Georgia
Preserve Management Team: Tripp Lichtefeld (lead), Jerry Wallace, and Brian Killingbeck (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: For a permit, visit http://permits.scci.org  12 person limit on group size, do not park on the interstate. The entrance to Hurricane Cave the state of Georgia owns (through the pipe) is closed due to structural problems with the entrance. The natural Sunbeam entrance is open.
Preserve Maps: Surface Plot Poster  | Cemetery Pit Poster  | Fox Mountain Selected Cave Passages
Surprise Pit Amy Hinkle
Surprise Pit, photo by Amy Hinkle

Fern Cave is one of the most significant and fascinating caves in the Unites States. On October 10, 2008, SCCi announced that they signed a contract to purchase 80 acres in Jackson County Alabama overlying a large portion of Fern Cave and including the Fern Sink Entrance and Surprise Pit. The preserve, named the Kay Hill Deen Fern Cave Preserve, is a privately owned tract adjoining the federally-owned Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge. Since 1997, the SCCi has managed the Fern Sink entrance and Surprise Pit under a lease agreement with the owner. When the opportunity arose in the summer of 2008, SCCi was able to convert our long-term relationship with the property into permanent ownership and protection. You can help support permanent protection of Fern Cave by becoming an SCCi member and donating to help with the acquisition costs.  SCCi Sustaining Membership is the best way to support the acquisition and protection of Fern Cave and other southeastern caves.
Fern Cave has five entrances. Four of these are on the Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge (US Department of the Interior), and one (The Fern Sink, or Surprise Pit entrance) is located on property the SCCi owns. One section of the cave is the largest gray bat hibernaculum in the country. As a result, new restrictions are now in place to protect the bat colony from White Nose Syndrome. We ask that everyone who visits the cave take the decontamination request very seriously.
Entry into Surprise Pit requires a permit. The other four entrances of Fern Cave that the US Fish and Wildlife Service owns are still closed.
Fern Cave Access Procedure

Support the SCCi! Buy a Piece of a Cave Preserve! Your donation will be used to pay for all of the wonderful cave preserves we have recently purchased. 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 YOUR support. Help us buy even more amazing caves in the future!
Preserve Information:
Acreage: 80.0 acres in Jackson County, Alabama.
Preserve Management Team: Steve Pitts (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: To request a permit, visit http://permits.scci.org
Preserve Maps: Slices of the Pit Poster | Surface Map Poster
Anderson Cave
Anderson Cave, photo by Jerry Saulsberry

The SCCi and the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) entered the Anderson Cave Preserve Cooperative Management Agreement in May 2007 to reduce unauthorized entry and potential liability of caves within its watershed. The SCCi will study and help to protect the endangered species that may be present.
Preserve Information:
Acreage: Lease/management agreement in Shelby County, Alabama.
Preserve Management Team: Joel McGuire, Jerry Saulsberry and Ray Merrill (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Closed during the summer when bats are roosting. To request a permit, visit http://permits.scci.org. The person requesting the permit must be a current NSS or SCCi member.
Support the SCCi! Buy a Piece of a Cave Preserve! Your donation will be used to pay for all of the wonderful cave preserves we have recently purchased. 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 sustaining members 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 YOUR support. Help us buy even more amazing caves in the future!
 
The SCCi owns or leases cave preserves in six southeastern states.
Caves listed as "Open" do not require a permit or advance notification. Please keep your group small and avoid disturbing or inconveniencing our neighbors. If you contact one of our property managers but don't get a response, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 423-771-9671 Extension 101.
Anderson Cave Preserve
(5 caves)
Acreage: Lease/management agreement in Shelby County, Alabama.
Preserve Managers: Joel McGuire and Jerry Saulsberry (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit required. See the management plan for details.
Charles B. Henson Cave Preserve at Johnsons Crook (30 caves)
Acreage: 1300 Acres in Dade County, Georgia
Preserve Managers: Patty Springer (Chair), Marty Abercrombie, Peter and Jane Morgan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit Required.  Visit SCCi Online Permits to obtain a permit.
Fern Cave Preserve (Kay Hill Deen Fern Cave Preserve)
Surprise Pit Entrance
Acreage: 80.0 acres in Jackson County, Alabama.
Preserve Manager : Steve Pitts (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit required. See the management plan for details.
Fox Mountain Cave Preserve
(11 caves)
Acreage: 448.6 acres in Dade County, Georgia
Preserve Managers: Marty Abercrombie (chair), Brian Killingbeck, and Jerry Wallace (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open, 12 person limit on group size, do not park on the Interstate. Contact the property managers for instructions. The entrance to Hurricane Cave the state of Georgia owns (through the pipe) is closed due to structural concerns with the entrance. The natural Sunbeam Exit (which is on SCCi property) is open. See the management plan for details.
Frenchman Knob Cave Preserve
Acreage: 38.6 acres in Hart County, Kentucky
Preserve Managers: Steve Miller (chair) and Patricia Kambesis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit required. Contact the management committee or read the management plan for details.
Frick's Cave Preserve
Acreage: 33.8 acres in Walker County, Georgia
Preserve Manager: E.T. Davis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Cave closed to protect endangered bat habitat. Preserve only permits are available. See the management plan for details.
Glove Pit Preserve
Acreage: 0.4 acres in Madison County, Alabama
Preserve Manager: Jim Hall (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open. Very limited parking area. Do not block the road or impede traffic. See the management plan for details.
Gourdneck Cave Preserve
Acreage: Leased in Marion County, Tennessee
Preserve Manager: Maureen Handler (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open, 8 person limit on group size, do not block road. Cavers must now bring a rope for the entrance drop. See the management plan for details.
Hollow Ridge Cave Preserve
Acreage: 4.97 acres in Jackson County, Florida
Preserve Manager: Allen Mosler (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open. 12 person group size limit. See the management plan for details.
Holly Creek Cave Preserve
Acreage: 14.3 acres in Wayne County, Tennessee
Preserve Manager: Shane Stacy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit required. See the management plan for details.
Horse Skull Cave Preserve
Acreage: 40 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Preserve Manager: Andy Zellner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open. 12 person group size limit. See the management plan for details.
Howard's Waterfall Cave Preserve
Acreage: 1.25 acres in Dade County, Georgia
Preserve Managers: Ben Eudy, Mike Hills, and Steve Davis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open. Use the Main Entrance only. The SCCi doesn't own the other entrances. See the management plan for details.
Jennings Cave Preserve
Acreage: 0.5 acres in Marion County, Florida
Preserve Managers: Mike Gordon (Chair), Kitty Markley and Sean Roberts (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Advanced arrangements for access must be made with the property manager. 12 person group size limit. See the Management Plan for details.
Kennamer Cave Preserve
(2 caves)
Acreage: 227.1 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Preserve Manager: Mark Ostrander (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit Required.  Visit SCCi Online Permits to obtain a permit.
Limrock Blowing Cave Preserve
Acreage: 48.34 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Preserve Manager: Tommy Royston (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open. 12 person group size limit. Please park in the SCCi parking area only. See the management plan for details.
Lobelia Saltpeter Cave Preserve
Acreage: 29.5 acres in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.
Preserve Manager: Dave Cowan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit Required. Contact the property manager for more information.
Logsdon Cave Preserve
(William Halliday Cave Preserve)
Acreage: Leased in Hart County, Kentucky
Preserve Manager: John Hoffelt (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access : Permit required, contact the management committee for access.
Neversink Preserve
Acreage: 32.87 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Preserve Managers: Jim Hall and Darien Dopp (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open. Rig only to two newly installed sets of bolts. 12 person group size limit. 6 vehicles maximum in parking area. Do not park on the road. See the management plan for details.
Rattling Cave Preserve
Acreage: Leased in Cocke County, Tennessee
Preserve Manager: Curtis Ellison (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit required. See the management plan for details.
Run To The Mill Cave Preserve
 (3 caves)
Access: Permit required. Limit of 12 people maximum, 3 person minimum. Seasonally closed to protect hibernating population of endangered Indiana bats. Open at least May 1 - August 31 (may open earlier and close later in any given year, depending on bat activity.)
Preserve Managers: 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.
Preserve Management: Management Plan
Sinking Cove Cave Preserve
(73 caves)
Acreage: Leased in Franklin County, Tennessee
Preserve Managers: Buddy Lane and Bill Putnam (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Advance notification required. 16 person group size limit. Closed during deer and turkey seasons. See the management plan for details.
Snail Shell Cave Preserve
Acreage: 88.2 acres in Rutherford County, Tennessee
Preserve Managers: Bob Biddix and Erica Sughrue (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: SCCi or NSS membership and  advance notification required. 12 person group size limit. See the management plan for details.
South Pittsburg Pit Preserve
Acreage: 20.76 acres in Marion County, Tennessee
Preserve Managers: David Crisp and Carl Lehmann (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open, 12 person limit on group size. See the management plan for details.
Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve
(5 caves)
Acreage: 123 acres in Jackson County, AL
Preserve Managers: Tom Whitehurst, Milton Polsky, and Aaron Polsky (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit required.  Visit SCCi Online Permits to obtain a permit.
Steward Spring Cave Preserve
 (3 caves)
Acreage: 15.0 acres in DeKalb County, Alabama
Preserve Managers: Ken Rupil and Lin Guy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Cave is gated - advance arrangements must be made with the property managers before visiting. See the management plan for details.
Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve (John T. Dolberry Tumbling Rock Cave Preserve)
Acreage: 5.0 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Preserve Manager: Tumbling Rock, Inc. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Open on Saturdays and Sundays. For details or special arrangements contact the property manager. See the management plan for details.
Valhalla Cave Preserve
(6 caves)
Acreage: 145.0 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Preserve Managers: Buddy Lane and Bill Putnam (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: SCCi or NSS membership and advance notification required. 12 person group size limit. Closed during deer and turkey seasons. See the management plan for details.
Varnedoe Cave Preserve
Acreage: Lease/management agreement in Madison County, Alabama
Preserve Manager: Julie Schenck Brown (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Advance notification required. 8 person group size limit. Closed during deer and turkey seasons. See the management plan for details.
Wolf River Cave Preserve
Acreage: 32.86 acres in Fentress County, Tennessee
Preserve Manager: Kristen Bobo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit required. See the management plan for details.
NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy before you plan a trip to an SCCi cave. Visitors to certain caves must complete the Clean Caving Questionnaire. Some caves also require a permit. Check individual cave preserve pages for details.
Caves listed as "Open" do not require a permit or advance notification. Please keep your group small and avoid disturbing or inconveniencing our neighbors. If you contact one of our property managers but don't get a response, please contact our Stewardship Chair This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or by phone at 423-771-9671.
Lobelia Saltpeter Cave
Acreage: 29.5 acres in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.
Property Manager: Dave Cowan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Access: Permit Required. See the management plan for details.
NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy before you plan a trip to an SCCi cave. Visitors to certain cave preserves need to complete the Clean Caving Questionnaire. Some caves also require a permit. Check individual cave preserve pages for details.