Cathedral opens new campground
Cathedral Caverns State Park sits in one of Alabama’s most pristine and undeveloped areas, making it a desirable getaway for many families.
There was just one problem – a small number of campsites. Until now.
Cathedral Caverns officially unveiled its new campground Wednesday with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting attended by several state officials and legislators, as well as local government and business leaders.
“This new campground definitely provides a fantastic way for visitors to enjoy northeast Alabama and visit the amazing sights at Cathedral Caverns,” Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship said. “Now more visitors can explore the caverns, hike the trails and enjoy multipole days of great outdoor recreational opportunities at this beautiful park."
The new campground features 25 full-service campsites with 50/30 AMP power, as well as water and sewer service. All of the sites, which average 15 feet wide by 55 feet deep, include a picnic table, fire ring and grill. The sites also have large offsets to accommodate slide-outs.
The campground project was partially funded through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, which was administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).
“We all know more people have been flocking to the outdoors as an escape from the pandemic, but a lack of camping options has limited some people from getting out as much as they would like,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to play a role in this project which will provide a new option and more spaces for camping right here in northeast Alabama.”
Construction for the Cathedral Caverns campground expansion began in November 2020 and concluded in December 2021. Park staff report that visitors have complimented the new campground for its amenities.
Reservations for the campground can be made online at https://www.alapark.com/reservations.
“We believe this is one of the marquee campgrounds in northeast Alabama and the Tennessee Valley,” said State Parks Director Greg Lein, “and we’re appreciative of ADECA for helping us secure funding for it. This project again shows that Alabama State Parks remains committed to providing first-class accommodations for all of our visitors.”
Cathedral Caverns welcomes visitors with a huge opening, measuring 126 feet wide by 25 feet high. The interior of the cavern features some of the most beautiful formations Mother Nature has ever created, including “Goliath,” one of the largest stalagmites in the world measuring 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference; a "caveman" perched atop a flowstone wall; a "frozen" waterfall; large stalagmite forest; and a stalagmite that is 27 feet tall and 3 inches wide.
Originally called Bat Cave, the cave was renamed because of its cathedral-like appearance. The state purchased it in 1987, and it opened as a State Park in 2000. Learn more at https://www.alapark.com/parks/cathedral-caverns-state-park
The Alabama State Parks is a division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and maintains 21 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water in Alabama. The parks range from Gulf Coast beaches to the Appalachian Mountains and provide opportunities and facilities from basic day-use activities to resort convention lodging, restaurants and golfing areas.