Saltpetre Cave

Saltpeter Cave

Useful Information

Location: Exit 161 off I-64. 3.2km east on U.S. 60 to State Hwy. 182. Park entrance 13km N of Olive Hill. Cave tours depart from the Welcome Center.
Open: Welcome Center: APR to OCT daily 9-16:30, NOV to MAR daily 9:30-16.
Cave closed due to White Nose Sydrome until further notice!
Fee: Cave closed due to White Nose Sydrome until further notice!
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: electric
Dimension: T=8-9°C.
Guided tours: L=800m, D=60min.
Spelunking tours: D=2.5h.
Address: Carter Caves State Resort Park, 344 Caveland Drive, Route 5, Box 1120, Olive Hill, KY 41164-9032, Tel: +1-606-286-4411, Fax: +1-800-325-0059. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1780 area discovered by white settlers.
1812 mining works in Saltpetre Cave to make gunpowder for the war.


Saltpetre Cave is a "historic cave" as it was used to mine bat guano for saltpetre during the War of 1812. The mining works are shown on the tour.

Although this cave is a true show cave with electric light, the tour includes some stooping. But - except the 30 steps staircase into the cave - it is level. The cave is dry and a little dusty.

The spelunking tour shows also the not lit parts of the cave, includes crawling, stooping and getting dirty.