Nestled in a forested hillside, Manitou Cave is a hidden treasure with a rich history and ancient geological origins. Stand beside Great Spirit Mountain, a natural formation within the cave standing over 40 feet tall. Study sacred Cherokee syllabary inscriptions and ponder how they could have appeared on a 50-foot high ceiling.
Travel deeper and reflect in the grand ballroom where galas were held in the late 19th century. Find your inner peace, closed off from the rest of the world, with the calming sounds of the gentle stream flowing through the cave.
As a landmark of historical, cultural and geological significance, a fundamental component of our mission is to ensure that Manitou Cave and its surroundings are respected by its visitors. Visitors are invited to be a part of our mission.
Your assistance will allow us to continue operating with the highest standards.
"The cave findings and history are close to my heart."
Beau Duke Carroll,
After Manitou Cave was closed to the public, trespassers frequented the cave, placing the cave, its fragile ecosystem and historic records at risk. Our first major step was to install a 3,000-pound cave gate to protect the cave and its contents, while also protecting intruders.
Your help is needed to bolster protection of the cave, its surrounding areas and wildlife from trespassers, overgrowth and pollution.
"The cave is an incredible place and we will learn more and more as time goes on. The cave is a very important place from the point of view of Cherokee history and culture."
Dr. Jan F. Simek, President Emeritus, Prof of Science, Dept. of Anthropology, Univ. of Tenn. Knoxville
We are restoring the cave and its surrounding with as little disruption to the natural environment as possible. Every decision we make involves careful research and analysis from historical, biological and cultural perspectives.
Your help can ensure that the proper research and management can continue in our effort to preserve Manitou as a place of peace for current and future generations.
"This site transcends so many others in its broad significance. I know that we, as preservationists, have a difficult time assigning priorities. Because we fear, with good reason, what will become of those not at the top of the list. But, occasionally, there is a Mount Vernon that is too important to squabble over. This is one of them."
David Schneider, Historic Preservationist
Manitou Cave's significance is underpinned by its geological origins, unique wildlife, rich history and use as a sacred site. Without understanding the foundations it's easy to overlook the importance of this place. We strive to learn as much as possible and obtain important historical documents, so that they may be shared with visitors to deliver an enriched experience.
You can help us improve our understanding of Manitou and fuel important research and analysis. Your pledge will allow us to train and educate tour guides, opening the possibility to host more visitors and spread the findings of our research on a larger scale.
"All the teachers said that the cave exploring was the best. You ooze with passion for history and that passion is inspiring. I can’t wait until next year! Thank you SO MUCH for all that you did and continue to do to educate others.”
Julie Caminiti, Educator
TALK TO US
Get in touch with Manitou Cave of Alabama to learn more about our work or request a visit.