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Carter Caves State Resort Park, Olive Hill

4.5
#15 of 61 in Nature in Kentucky
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
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Carter Caves State Resort Park is located in Carter County, Kentucky, United States, along Tygarts Creek. It is formed by Carter Caves, and nearby Cascade Caves, which were added to the park in 1959. On December 16, 1981, 146 acres (59 ha) of the park were designated as nature preserves. Bat Cave and Cascade Caverns State Nature Preserves were dedicated for the protection of the Indiana bat, mountain maple, and Canada yew, all endangered species.
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Carter Caves State Resort Park reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
193 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Just got back from a two day stay - (really all you need) It's a nice park with several trails; We did the Horn Hollow Trail (Moderate) , Ridgetop trail (easy) and Natural Bridge trail. (very... 
    Just got back from a two day stay - (really all you need) It's a nice park with several trails; We did the Horn Hollow Trail (Moderate) , Ridgetop trail (easy) and Natural Bridge trail. (very...  more »
  • Carter Caves is not all that modern. Don't get me wrong, the resort is modern, but the activities are a throw back to the past still. Swimming pool (used to have a beach on the lake but that was... 
    Carter Caves is not all that modern. Don't get me wrong, the resort is modern, but the activities are a throw back to the past still. Swimming pool (used to have a beach on the lake but that was...  more »
  • We went to the Welcome Center to buy gifts and get tickets for a Cascade Cave tour. We also drove through the park and walked into the Lodge. It is so beautiful all through out the park. Be careful... 
    We went to the Welcome Center to buy gifts and get tickets for a Cascade Cave tour. We also drove through the park and walked into the Lodge. It is so beautiful all through out the park. Be careful...  more »
Google
  • This park is excellent. It’s well laid out, plenty of guides into the caves. Trails are very well maintained. Dog friendly, and lots to explore. Was a gorgeous place to see the fall color. I really want to leave more time to do the longer trail here, only thing I noticed is one trail smelled like a septic system on a portion that wrapped just below the cabins. I bet the water dripping from the rocks there was sewage. But other than that this place is excellent. Next time I’ll check the lodge out.
  • Everything about our stay was great! The caves are amazing. The park does an excellent job at planning activities all the time like glow in the dark putt putt golf. The pool was huge. We also had a mix up and missed the tour we signed up for. We called the office and a park ranger came right over to take us for a private tour. The customer service every where in the park was outstanding. All of Kentucky's hospitality was outstanding!
  • I found Carter Caves on a whim while looking for something to do on a day off. When I saw you could go caving I had to go. So I drove almost 3 hours to take the cave tours they have available and I’m super glad I did. I had a wonderful time and Rachel our guide was so knowledgeable. It was great learning about the region and the caves. So much so that when I got home I had to read more about the place and how it formed. I definitely want to come back for the winter event where you get to see more caves and to explore in general. Also it was only like $20 or something so it didn’t break the bank. Can’t wait to come and see more of the park.
  • We went to the Welcome Center to buy gifts and get tickets for a Cascade Cave tour. We also drove through the park and walked into the Lodge. It is so beautiful all through out the park. Be careful putting the address into your GPS as it will lead you the back way on a rough gravel road. Be warned if you are taking a camper to check google maps or a map first so that you don't get taken that direction. The Cascade Cave was really different than other caves we have seen. Over 200 steps and 3/4 mile, takes 75 minutes to do the tour. You are taken in one part of the cave and then out to another section since it is closed off. Then back into where you were first and out of there for a short walk to another section of the cave to see a gorgeous waterfall inside the cave. Sandals are not recommended by the way. Good sturdy footwear such as tennis shoes would be better. Depending on what time of year you go, you can see a lot of bats hanging up on the ceiling. Which this is the first cave that we have seen so many bats. Pretty cool. They end the tour with a free shoe washing due to the "White Nose Syndrome" with bats. You walk over a cleaning mat to wash your shoes. Another reason to Not wear sandals! Our guide was very informative and friendly. If you have a rough time on stairs, the guide does not rush you. Like me. :) I did not feel good about doing all of those stairs myself but I am so glad that I took this tour with my husband as it was a very pretty cave. We really enjoyed it.
  • Warning, call the the morning you are going to see if cave tours you want to do are open! Also warning, maintenance ground staff are extremely rude. This Place is super amazing, two or three caves you can Explore by your self, all of which are completely unmaintained, Such an adventure!! 2 different cave tours they do guided year round, plus another two or three caves you can tour from memorial day to Labor day. One of which is a really adventurous/hard core caving experience! So then why two stars? First, The self-guided cave tours, you can’t do by yourself. Even though you have to get a free permit so they know where you are and when you’ll return. Meaning single people are out of luck. Second, anytime there’s any amount of rain even if it’s a drizzle, they close most of the caves. And to make matters worse they don’t post any of this information on their website. So every time I’ve come here I can’t even do what 3/4 of what I want to do because things are closed. So while this place is super amazing cool. How can I give this place 4 or 5 stars, when I come here to relax and enjoy myself, but every time you come here. You’re going to be frustrated because something you wanna do is closed.

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