SCCi preserves are open with a permit. We have reduced the permitted maximum group size to 10. If you visit a preserve, ensure that you follow CDC and state and local guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and practice Leave No Trace principles. As this situation is ever changing, SCCi may open and close preserves as required.
IF you choose to visit an SCCi preserve, keep in the mind the following:
The SCCi protects 170+ caves on 31 preserves in 6 states. For over 25 years, SCCi has balanced conservation with recreational use. Permits are required for all visitors on an SCCi preserve and there is no charge for a permit. To request a permit, visit http://permits.scci.org or click on the icon on the specific preserve below.
SAME DAY PERMITS: Some preserves have same-day issued permits which can be received with no notice. These permits issue automatically when all releases have been signed. The system is optimized for mobile devices and permits can be easily obtained even from the parking lot of a preserve with cell phone coverage. All other permits require a minimum of 48 hours to review once all releases have been signed.
HIKING: With any permit, you can spend time above and below ground hiking and exploring SCCi preserves. Some SCCi preserves offer a ‘surface only’ permit which does not allow entry to the caves but affords hikers and nature lovers an opportunity to explore above ground. These permits have different group size requirements than caving permits.
CAMPING: Camping is allowed on some SCCi preserves. Camping in caves is strictly prohibited. All camping is primitive and must be done in the areas designated by the Preserve Team. At various times a year, SCCi may institute campfire bans to protect our forests and natural resources. All waste (human and otherwise) must be carried out of campsites and disposed of properly.
LEAVE NO TRACE: Leave No Trace principles are especially critical in cave environments. Caves are slow to regenerate once damaged. Do not mark or write anything on cave walls, ceilings or floors – even in the dust. Defacing or destroying anything in a cave is a crime and SCCi will prosecute. Carry all waste/trash away with you. Everyone should be able to enjoy a cave in its natural state so leave it like that. SCCi is a member of and subscribes to the principles of Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.