A few weeks ago I posted about my attempt to reach the roof of Texas. This time we take a trip closer to home as we head the other direction, down that is to the basement of Texas. Since we were all off for President’s Day this year we decided to explore our little corner of Texas. We have done all the big stuff in San Antonio like the River Walk and the zoo, so we headed out to Natural Bridge Caverns. It is a short trip up I-35 to Exit 175 in Schertz, TX to visit this attraction.
We polled the kids to see if they wanted to do the cavern tour or zip line, and the cavern tour won. The cavern tour takes you down 180 feet below ground. The paved walking path is easy to walk although it gets a little steep in places. The tour is led by a knowable guide. You see all of the classic cave formations, flow stone, stalagmites stalactites, soda straws, columns, cave curtain and cave ribbon.
Natural Bridge Caverns is a commercial cave discovered in 1960 when four college students from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, obtained permission to explore the area that is now Natural Bridge Caverns. The students were convinced that large underground passages existed under the amazing 60-foot limestone bridge. The fourth time the students explored the area they found a crawlway with cool are flowing out indicating a cave system below. After making this amazing discovery, they returned to the surface to tell the landowners. The discoverers knew immediately what an astonishing find they had made and the land owners decided to develop the first 1/2 mile, the most spectacular part of the caverns, for the enjoyment of guests from around the world.
Since the initial development of the cave the land owners have added additional attractions such as zip lining, and of all things in South Texas, an African wild Animal Park.
I have spent a lot of time in caves both commercial and wild. Over my years as growing up as a Boy Scout we did cave trips once or twice every year. Caves are always exciting for the kids, every one can imagine what it would have been like to be the first person to see the incredible formations under the ground. That sense of adventure is part of what draws folks into the underground. Natural Bridge Caverns, while commercial is really working to preserve this underground wonder while allowing folks not interested in crawling through the mud and getting dirty to see the wonders that Mother Nature has created out of sight. I think they are doing a pretty good job.
For the money the biggest and best bang for your dollar is one of the cave tours. The zip lines, ropes course and “gem mining”, in my opinion are not so hot.
Below are some of my pictures from Natural Bridge Caverns.