The Southern Glamper: Rickwood Caverns State Park

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Rickwood Caverns State Park

Friday, October 19, 2018

The cave tour at Rickwood Caverns is worth the time and price!
Did you know that in the 1950's Boy Scout Troops in Alabama learned how to use dynamite to excavate Rickwood Caverns?  Yes.  Times have changed!  Eddie Rickles and Sonny Arwood were the troop leaders who combined their names to create the namesake Rickwood Caverns.  Since 1974, this state park has been offering fun outdoor experiences to outdoor enthusiasts.  It is a true gem, and we made lots of memories together over fall break.  What makes this park stand out?
The view from campsite 1.
Rickwood Caverns has 13 campsites.  Campers can either tent camp or bring an RV.  We saw everything from large class A motorhome homes and fifth wheels to our little pop up camper as well as tents.  The small proximity of the campground is excellent for families with children.  There is one singular loop running through the campground that allows constant supervision of children.

The campground has updated bathhouses and restrooms.  There are 4 showers that are in individual rooms separate from the restrooms.  I really liked this feature.  The showers were large and clean.  The restrooms were always stocked with soap and toilet paper.  There were even hand dryers in the bathrooms.  Some state parks have none of these features sadly.

There is a large area filled with picnic tables for families and groups to enjoy a picnic lunch.  This is a nice area for field trips too!
Because this is a small campground, the campsites are relatively close together.  So, this can be great for groups that are camping together.  But, it can also be inconvenient if you are camping solo and have rude neighbors.  We fared just fine, but the sites are pretty up close and personal.  

If you are looking for something to do while you are there, the park offers swimming during the summer months.  The Olympic sized pool is fed from the caverns waters.  This unique feature is heavily used during the months according to friends who have camped in warm weather months.

The Olympic pool was not in use while we were there, but it is well used in the summer months.  The pool is filled with water from the cave lake.
There is a playground for the children.  It is a rather dated playground with older equipment.  However, our son really enjoyed playing there.  My only complaint is that it is too far to let kids go on their own.  But, we went down and watched him play.  It was not a big deal.  And I don't know that all campers would want the playground right there at the sites.

Our kids really enjoyed the playground.  It is is a nice shaded area.


Even though the equipment is old, it is still fairly well maintained.  

Gem mining, geocaching, and hiking trails are also activities that are available to visitors.  It is a beautifully maintained park.  There are activities for every camper.  We noticed people taking advantage of every activity with the exception of the pool while we were there.  

However, the shining attraction at this state park is the cave tour.  I highly recommend this.  Rates are discounted for campers.  The fee is $13 for adults and $8 for children.  We all agreed that the tour was well worth the price of admission.  We had a knowledgeable tour guide that took the time to answer questions and was patient with children.

We loved the cave tour!

The cave was an excellent tour!
A couple of things to note about this tour  - the number of stairs and space.   There are over 300 stairs with 110 stairs at the end of the tour to get out.  The ceilings are low and some of the spaces are tight.  If this bothers you, then it might not be the activity for you.  We all thought it was grand and had no issues.  But it is something that is well advertised by the staff to ensure that people are aware of these parts of the tour.

We had an excellent tour guide.



Rickwood Caverns even does a whole Christmas tour activity where the cave has a self-guided tour at that time of the year.  Everything is decked out in holiday decor.  The price is reduced and lots of people come to visit for this special seasonal event. 

If you are are camping at Rickwood Caverns during the week, note that school groups do come and visit for field trips.  We were there on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  There were groups much of the day on Friday.  We opted for a later time in the day to tour because of the groups that were there that day.  This was okay for us.  We used the time to visit the local covered bridges in Blount County.

Alabama has beautiful state parks.  We have been to several.  Rickwood Caverns may be my new favorite.  The staff really makes this park shine.  They deliver firewood to your campsite after you purchase.  They are all so polite and kind.  My husband even needed a drill to help fix something on my stove insert.  One of the gentlemen working there helped him by grabbing a drill to help us.

The camp store sells souvenirs, ice cream, firewood, and soft drinks.  
Have you done any camping in Alabama?  If so, where do you like to camp?  Rickwood Caverns is an excellent spot to unwind and relax for a few days.  We plan to come back and enjoy the quaint hospitality and beauty it has to offer!  There is still time this year to plan a trip to Rickwood Caverns.  Give them a call and make your reservations now. 

If you want more camping ideas, we took Sun Basket Meals to the campground to make meals healthy and easy.  Also, be sure to make time for this historic covered bridges in Blount County while you are there.  

Until next time...


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