Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1981, consists of 199 acres of forested hillside underlain by a massive cave with many stalactite and stalagmite-filled rooms. The cave has five hidden entrances with four occurring on the Refuge. Access to is extremely difficult and has been described as a vertical and horizontal maze by expert cavers, the cave itself is closed to protect the sensitive species found within. Horizontal sections of the cave are known to be more than 15 miles long and vertical drops of 450 feet are found within. Spectacular features including unrivaled formations, important paleological and archaeological finds, and a diverse cave fauna have contributed to Fern Cave as being described as the most spectacular cave in the U.S. and has fame both nationally and internationally.
Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge was established under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, to provide protection for the endangered gray and Indiana bats.
Other Facilities in this Complex
Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Complex.