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Carter Caves State Park

344 Caveland Dr
Olive Hill

United States

Carter Caves State Park, KY

About Carter Caves

This is one of Kentucky’s best kept secrets, a wonderful place loaded with wildlife, arches, bats and of course, caves!

The Carter County region has the highest concentration of caves to be found in any area of Kentucky. Two of the park’s caves offer guided tours year-round, Cascade Cave and X-Cave. Enjoy a subterranean adventure, created by nature over millions of years.   

Cascade Cave is a live cave, meaning it is still being formed. A river flows through this cave on two levels, creating several underground arches.   The river flows out of the cave and makes for a memorable image to be created!   Cascade Cave is the longest scenic cave tour and is noted for its large chambers and many beautiful cave formations. A highlight of the tour is a 30-foot high underground waterfall as well as the Lake Room’s reflecting pool, the Cathedral in North Cave, and the Dance Hall where a previous owner held weekly dances.

X Cave has more of the features one thinks of when caves come to mind. X-Cave is really two caves cut through a large layer of limestone that joined in the middle, forming the namesake X. This cave has many fantastic formations on one side of the X.  Some of the formations in X Cave are the Pipe Organ, Giant Turkey, and the Great Chandelier.  Oh… watch out for Headache Rock!

Above ground is just as magnificent.  Spectacular arches abound including the huge Smokey Arch and Natural Bridge.   The Box Canyon is a photography opportunity not to be missed.  Abundant wildlife and the picturesque Smoky Lake sets it all off.

During the summer, other caves are available for tours or crawls.


The beautiful fieldstone lodge offers a beautiful, spacious lobby for relaxing and 28 rooms with full amenities.  Each room features a private balcony or patio overlooking the forests.  The Tierney’s Cavern Restaurant is on the lower floor of the lodge as is the Community Room our programs are held in.

Twelve two-bedroom cottages are available (10 have 4 queen beds and 1 has 4 double beds). Cottages are equipped with great features like dishwashers and microwave ovens.  Each cottages features a covered deck that offer wonderful views of the forest and often have deer playing just below.  There is some variety in the cottages with some having two bathrooms and some featuring wood-burning fireplaces. 

Guest participating in Photo ShareShops should tell reservations that they are with the ShareShop to receive the group rate offered to us.


Join us at Carter Caves State Resort Park!

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