Shelta Cave is a 2,500 feet (760 m) long underground cave and lake located in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama. It is described as one of the most biodiverse caves within the Appalachian Mountains. The cave is currently owned and managed as a nature preserve by the National Speleological Society.
Alabama Archeological Investigations
The Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge was once called the Blowing Wind Cave National Wildlife Refuge. In the past, the cave served a variety of uses. Cherokee natives mined the soil to make saltpeter for gunpowder. Saltpeter mining continued on occasion across the War of 1812, and the American Civil War.
Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge
Alabama National Wildlife Refuges Index Page
Fern Cave NWR was purchased in 1981 to provide protection for the federally endangered gray and Indiana bats. It consists of 199 acres of forested hillside underlain by a massive cave with many stalactite and stalagmite-filled rooms. The cave has five hidden entrances with four occurring on the Refuge. Fern Cave contains the largest wintering colony of gray bats in the United States with over one million bats hibernating there in the winter. Bat experts also think that as many as one million Indiana bats may be using the cave and an expedition into the cave is being planned for the future. Getting There .
Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge has large open fields managed for warm-season native grasses interspersed with small patches of deciduous woodland and the seasonal sinkhole wetland. The refuge is gradually being converted from crops to native warm-season grasslands.
The Kay Hill Deen Fern Cave Preserve, is a privately owned tract adjoining the federally-owned Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge. Fern Cave has five entrances. Four of these are on the Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge (US Department of the Interior), and one (The Fern Sink, or Surprise Pit entrance) is located on property the SCCi owns. One section of the cave is the largest gray bat hibernaculum in the country. As a result, new restrictions are now in place to protect the bat colony from White Nose Syndrome.