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Cave Kennamer preserve via the upper pit

Woodville, Alabama

5.0/5
based on 1 reviews

Details

Distance

5 miles

Elevation Gain

324 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Daniel Cody

Kennamer is a true wild caving experience for those with at least some experience and lots of dedication. Featuring huge open chambers, underground waterfalls, and rare cave dwelling species Kennamer is a one of a kind cave.

Kennamer preserve is a private cave owned by the SCCI and a permit is required to visit the cave. At least one experienced caver should be in your group to protect yourselves and the fragile cave environment found here. The SCCI offers caving resources and the Huntsville Grotto caving group is a great way to connect with experienced cavers to learn from. I recommend also printing a map of the preserve prior to visiting found here: http://plotmaps.scci.org/kenna...  If there have been heavy rains the cave will hold more water and the Upper pit will be filled with a rushing waterfall making decent into the cave dificult. Be sure to plan ahead accordingly. 

 The main access road is blocked with a gate to which the code can be obtained along with a caving permit at the SCCI's website: http://www.scci.org/preserves/...  To start your adventure to Kennamer cave preserve you must first hike to one of the several entrances. The Orgy entrance is a crawl space cave which has a few open rooms and is not near is large. To access it follow the main trail and look for the signs about a quarter of a mile in. There is also an entrance called the secret pit which leads to a small portion of Kennamer cave's north side. To access the secret pit look to the right of the main trail roughly the same distance in as the Orgy entrance and follow the signs. The main entrance/ Upper pit offers the most direct way to explore the cave and many amazing sights to see. To access the main pit follow the main road up from the parking lot for roughly 1.7 miles to the top of the hill. There are SCCI signs leading up to the pit. After 300+ foot elevation gain the trail will level off. After the trail levels off continue for about .3 of a mile to the stream bed running into the valley. Climb down the stream bed into the small valley floor. (If you visit this area during the summer months the valley floor will be covered in lush green ferns and is great for pictures.) Follow the stream bed directly to the open pit on the left. From here there are several large trees to tie into and begin your descent. 

Upon carefully reaching the bottom of the cave you will scramble down several large rock piles into the shaft of the cave. The ceiling quickly becomes low and will require some crawling. There are then two options to reach the main caverns. Taking a right will lead to a very tight, wet, and muddy crawl to the next passage. Taking a left at first will look like a dead end, but upon reaching the end of the wall a passage will come into view towards your upper left. This passage is a short cut to the taller rooms and the creek containing the eyeless white cave crayfish. Following the creek straight on at the split will lead to the huge rooms with extravagantly tall ceilings. Keep an eye out foe multicolored cave bats hidden in these large rooms. Going to the left at the split will lead to a 35+' climb to several water falls, streams, and stalagmites. This are is where we saw the most cave salamanders. Use extreme caution while climbing and do not exceed your personal limits for a rescue operation in this area would take significant time and be extremely difficult. Beyond these passages are several other cut offs and passages. It took over three hours excluding the hike in for us to explore just what I have mentioned here. Any further directions may become confusing so take this preview and make the experience your own. As a warning this cave can get rather technical and requires special gear to navigate safely. I will include all the gear I bring on my expeditions, but be sure to bring any extras you feel will better suit your needs. 

Kennamer is truly a wild caving experience that I hope you enjoy as much as I have! Be careful and watch out for the sensitive environment found here!

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Features

Rock Climbing
Photography
Hiking
Forest
Groups
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

This place was awesome! There were so many different challenges, which made it a great all terrain trip!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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