Every year, the SCCi hosts an open house at Frick’s Cave in Georgia, a cave that is normally closed to protect endangered bats and salamanders that live in the cave. This year, the Fricks Cave Open House will take place on Saturday, February 15 from 9:00 to 4:30 p.m. eastern time. Because the federally protected endangered gray bats are not currently in the cave in the winter, the SCCi is able to allow members to visit the cave on this single day. Save the date on your calendars and keep an eye on our Frick's Cave open house page. We'll post any updates or announcements there.
Current SSCi members should will be asked to help our volunteers prepare for the event. A confirmation email will contain event information. RSVP will open closer to the date of the event. Not a current SCCi member? Please first join or renew as either a SCCi regular member orsustaining member . Not sure which to choose? See our membership options here ! Please note:
Anyone wishing to visit the cave must bring their own helmets, headlamps, and all appropriate caving gear, all of which must be clean in accordance with the SCCi Clean Caving Procedures, in order to be allowed into the cave. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent the unintentional introduction of foreign bacteria, fungus, and other microscopic life forms into the highly sensitive cave environment. Anyone who does not have appropriate gear, or whose gear has not been cleaned as described above, will not be allowed to enter the cave. Because the fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome in bats has been confirmed in Fricks Cave, anyone visiting the cave must also clean and disinfect their gear after the open house and before visiting any other caves.
There are no guided caving trips; at least one member of each group should have sufficient caving skills and experience that they can navigate their group through the complex passages of this wild cave on their own.
Visitors to the cave should dress appropriately: Fricks Cave is a stream cave, and can be very cold and wet in winter, even when it is warm outside! The water flowing through the cave will be cold; visitors should expect to get wet at least up to an adult's knees, and may also get quite muddy; polypropylene or other synthetic underwear as a base layer will help reduce the very real potential for hypothermia.
Anyone planning to visit the cave should plan to have in their vehicle a complete set of dry and warm clothes to change into after visiting the cave. There are no indoor facilities at the preserve.
The 2018 annual meeting of the membership of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc. (SCCi) will be held Saturday, June 9th. Location will be announced later. The members' meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m. and the cookout at 5:00 p.m. All times are Central. The meeting is open to current SCCi members and their guests.
Are you interested in the inner workings of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy? SCCi holds quarterly board meetings and members are welcome to attend open afternoon sessions. The meeting dates for 2018 are: Winter Meeting - February 24 - Open Session Begins at 1 Central Time - Fall Creek Falls State Park, 2536 Lakeside Drive, Spencer, TN 38585 Spring Meeting - May 19 Summer Meeting - August 18 Fall Meeting - To Be Announced Unless otherwise announced, all of the meetings will be held at 7727 Harrier Hill, Signal Mountain TN 37377 except for the Spring meeting. The open meeting session begins at approximately 1:00 pm EST.
Are you interested in getting more involved in the SCCi? SCCi's is successful because of the many volunteers that do the hard work conservation requires. We need volunteers for all kinds of projects from administrative and fundraising to preserve management. Please click here to complete a volunteer skills and interest survey. This survey allows us to search for the right people with the right skills when needed. Thank you for your interest in volunteering for SCCi and cave conservation.
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!
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.
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
One of many formation areas in Run To The Mill
The top of Tilted Well, a 167-foot deep pit in the cave
Looking up the pit in Run To The Mill
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!