This national holiday was declared by the National Caves Association, which is represented by more than 80 show caves across the United States, Bermuda, and Barbados, including our very own Bridal Cave. That' s a lot of beautiful places to discover and explore! This special day is being introduced in the hopes that people will be inspired to tour at least one cave this summer.
What Is Karst?
We are sure everyone is familiar with what a cave is, but karst is probably a new word for most of you. Karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. That is what forms natural ridges, towers, fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, caves, and other similar landforms.
Caves and karst make landscapes diverse, fascinating, and also rich in resources. They provide a very unique subsurface habitat for many animals, some of which are incredibly rare. They also preserve fragile archaeological and paleontological materials for millennia.
5 Reasons To Visit A Cave This Summer
The National Caves Association put out a press release with 5 compelling reasons that you should visit at least one cave this summer. (But we're willing to bet that you have such an incredible time, you'll make plans to visit more than that!)
#1 - See things you've never seen before.
No two caves are alike, and even if you've toured a particular cave before, it's very likely that you'll make discoveries that you overlooked before. There is such a wide array of amazing things to see, you can never take it all in the first time. Many of the elements inside a cave have been forming for millions of years, and millions of years from now, there will be completely different things for future tourists to see.
#2 - Spend quality time with family.
Touring show caves is an activity that can by enjoyed by all ages. It can spark an interest in science and nature in a child that will last a lifetime, and a young person's perspective will point out things adults would not normally notice. This is the type of activity that encourages family bonding, and wonderful memories together are just waiting to be made.
#3 - Cave tours are educational.
Tour guides not only lead you through the cave, but they are also full of interesting facts and fun stories about the things you are seeing. History comes alive when you are up close and personal with the beauty of these underground caves. While you are down there, you can also learn all about the animals that call it home, and if you're lucky, maybe even see a few.
The more you learn about how everything in nature works together to benefit each other, the more you realize just how important caves are. Bridal Cave offers some very educational cave tours, plus a special "Kids Only" section on our website filled with all kinds of cool information.
#4 - Spending time in nature has many benefits.
There have been many studies done that prove nature boosts both your mental and physical well-being. When paired with the exercise you get exploring a cave, those studies also showed the following benefits: restored mental energy, better vision in children, improved concentration, and sharper thinking and creativity. It has even been linked to lowering anger, stress, blood pressure, and heart rates.
#5 - Caves are fun.
There is a new, exciting adventure inside every cave that you visit. Bridal Cave at the Lake of the Ozarks is unbelievable to witness when it's all lit up, and this year we are adding a special lantern tour so that you can get more of a natural experience inside a dark cave. (Watch for more about that in next week's blog!)
Other unique experiences can be had across the country. Bluespring Caverns takes you on the underground rivers in electric tour boats, and you can tour in kayaks in Indiana Caverns. Luray Caverns in Virginia is home to the world's largest musical instrument, the Great Stalacpipe Organ.
Well, we're convinced to go caving... how about you? Set some time aside this summer to visit our family fun Lake of the Ozarks attraction to find out all of the additional sights and activities awaiting you in addition to those we've mentioned today. We're convinced that after your tour of Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park, you'll be anxious to see even more. Make a cave "bucket list" with your family and see how many you can get to this year. It's a great way to encourage Family Fun... As It Should Be!
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020