Exploring Lost River Cave – Bowling Green Kentucky

August 11th, 2015 by Amanda with 3 comments

Waterwheel with Roses

When I started researching caves to visit around Jellystone Mammoth Cave Park, I saw this boat tour advertised online at the Lost River Cave and immediately knew this would be SUPER COOL!  Since we had small kids with us ages 6 months – 8 years, and someone very claustrophobic with us, we were limited on the level of cave tour we would be able to do.  My kids are leery of the cave at the Children’s Museum, so I wasn’t really sure how this was going to go!

This was my favorite cave tour.  I am SO glad we did this one.

Our tour guide Chad was very knowledgeable and exciting!

enhance (6)

There is a lot of neat history about this land and cave; some related to Jesse James, Civil War soldiers, Honeymooners, my favorite fact was that there was a famous night club in the 1940’s at the mouth of the cave.  Really really neat and interesting stories!

enhance (4)enhance (3)

There was going to be a wedding there the night we took the tour!  This would be an AMAZING place to have a wedding!

enhance (7)

Plan to spend about 45 minutes to an hour on this two-part tour.  The Cave Boat Tour begins with a leisurely stroll in the valley as your guide shares the tale of the blue hole and disappearing Civil War soldiers.


enhance (1)

enhance (5)

When you arrive at the massive cave entrance, prepare to board Kentucky’s only underground boat tour and take a 25 minute ride on the boat through the cave.  On the boat tour, there is an area where the ceiling of the cave is very low. At this point, individuals in the boat bend forward (neck to knee) as the boat passes into AND out of the cave.  Duck your head for just a moment as you glide under the famous wishing rock. Touch the cool limestone ceiling before the passage opens into a cathedral-like cavern.  This part was a little nerve wrecking but lasted all but 20 seconds and really was no big deal!

1030 your family B

Here is a photo of our group!!

Cave Boat Tour #1

Cave Boat Tour #4

Cave Boat Tour #2

Cave Boat Tour #3

Here are some breathtaking views of the inside of the cave!

Cave Boat Tour Accessibility Information

Adult (12 and over)
Youth (4-11)
Child (3 and under)
Cave Boat Tour Ticket $16.95 $11.95 $4.95


Summer Schedule: May 16 – September 30
Cave Boat Tour Times
Tours are first come, first served
7 Days a Week 9:00am – 5:00pm
top of each hour
Visitor Center & Gift Shop 7 Days a Week 8:30am – 6:30pm
Discovery Cave Crawl 7 Days a Week By Reservation

Before or After the tour you are free to roam the nature trails!  It’s amazing how much walking outside amongst nature does for the soul.  Breathing in the fresh air, exploring.  So peaceful!11828594_866032836778630_3540413232326383187_n

Stop by the visitor center, grab a map and decide which way to go at each crossroads while exploring the trails.  This is a wonderful way to get some unstructured outdoor activity!  Also, a great way  to get some exercise, and practice basic map reading skills.Trail #1


Make sure you spend time at the butterfly habitat!  This was really cool!!Butterfly House

inside of the butterfly house

Lost River Cave has one of only two Nature Explore Classrooms in the state of Kentucky. There is an area for building with logs, a tunnel for kids to crawl through, hammocks to play in, and a platform from which to overlook the wetlands. They even have a musical stage. Bring your own instruments, or perform on the outdoor marimba.



You can also Pan for gold here.  This was Austin’s favorite thing about our whole trip I think!


You can buy a bag of stone/sand to use to pan for gold in the gift shop for about $23.00.  Ava found this HUGE Amethyst in hers!  That was well worth the $$.  Austin and the other boys got tons of rocks, pyrite, shark teeth, and even an arrow head!!!

We split one bag across all 4 kids!

Lost River Cave

The Lost River Cave is a must do in my opinion!  There is so much you can do here!  It would be easy to spend a whole day exploring!  Check out all their different activities here.



Disclaimer: My family and I received a complementary cave tour for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.