Throwback Thursday – Celebrating 50 Years at Onyx Cave
South central Kentucky is the heart of cave country. It was recently announced that eight new miles of Mammoth Cave have been discovered. The karst landscape creates a unique opportunity for tourists and exploration all over the region. Onyx Cave in Cave City is just over 30 miles north of Bowling Green. It’s celebrating the 50th anniversary of its discovery this year.
Its story begins in 1970, when the original Guntown Mountain was expanding its amusement park. A parking lot was under construction, and the crew accidentally found several cave openings. The cave’s original owner was Dan Broady, who decided to create another attraction. Broady developed the newly-discovered cave by creating a visitor entrance and accessible passageways. Onyx Cave officially opened for tours in 1973.
Onyx Cave is now owned by Missy Shields, whose passion for the cave goes back more than 20 years, when she first started working there as a tour guide. Cave visitors will notice its unique formations. Onyx Cave is home to a giant frozen waterfall flowstone, cave coral, and cave bacon. The cave’s passageways are more like canyons instead of tunnels, as some reach over 38-feet high. Water is still active in Onyx Cave, as tourists may notice water dripping from its ceiling.
For the past 16 years, Onyx Cave has also had a Rock Shop. Its unusual geodes from around the world, minerals, fossils, and jewelry, all add to the cave experience. Tours last about 30 minutes and are available to all ages. Onyx Cave is one of eight “show” caves in south central Kentucky that offers tours.