On a very cold, windy day, we headed out to Longhorn Cavern State Park.
Longhorn Cavern has been a state park since 1932. Even though it is a State Park, a private concessionaire has always operated it.
Due to the bad weather, our group of 4 had a private tour of the caverns. Our guide was from the area and very knowledgeable.
Earliest records indicate that the Comanche Indians were the first to use the cavern. In more recent history, the cavern was used as a Confederate stronghold where gunpowder was manufactured in secret during the Civil War.
The cavern stays about 68 degrees year round. It is one of the few river-formed caverns in Texas. It was created over thousands of years by the dissolving and cutting action of water on the limestone bedrock of the area.
There are only about a dozen Eastern Pipistrelle bats in the cavern. They do not hang out together, they are loners.
When the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began work at Longhorn Cavern in the 1930s, many of the cavern's chambers were filled with dozens of feet of silt and debris. To protect the cavern and its ecosystem, the CCC blocked off the four natural entrances to the cave, leaving one (gated) entrance.
From 1934 to 1942, the CCC constructed residences, pavilions and an observation tower.
If you find yourself on Park Road 4, take a tour of this beautiful cave.