09:30 - Bat Ecology Cave Tour

July 13, 2024
09:30 am–10:30 am
Location
Kickapoo Caverns, near Wauzeka, WI
A tour of Kickapoo Caverns nature preserve

You are currently on the registration page for Tour #1 at 9:30 a.m. REGISTER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

Join us for guided cave tours at Kickapoo Caverns to learn about the beneficial role of bats and the importance of protecting their native habitat and Crawford County's karst geology. Kickapoo Caverns, an 83-acre nature preserve near Wauzeka, Wisconsin includes a large cave that serves as hibernation site for several bat species.

For protection of the cave and the safety of attendees, the tours will be limited in size and held at four scheduled times on July 13, 2024. The tours are part of the Conservancy’s Linked to the Land series of outdoor events sponsored by Olson Solar Energy with media support from WXOW / News 19.

Due to declining bat populations in North America in recent years, scientists have conducted research and helped to create public awareness of bats, their beneficial role in ecosystems around the world, and what can be done to protect them. Cave visitors at the scheduled tours will have an opportunity to learn more about bats and what can be done to protect them.

Many generous supporters have made it possible for the Conservancy to protect the property and to guide visitors through the its huge limestone cave. Home to four bat species, the stunning limestone cave includes underground pools, a 40-foot-high cathedral-like chamber, and beautifully-colored stalactites. As winter home to several threatened bat species, the cave is available for tours only during a short period each summer when the bats are away from the cave.

ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: Complete one registration form per participant. After sign-up (below), registrants will receive a confirmation email. The total time of each tour is just under an hour. Please plan ahead to arrive, park, and hike for 30 minutes before your tour start time. 

This is a rain or shine event, and temperatures can vary greatly from summer heat outdoors to 50 degrees inside the cave.

There is almost no cell phone reception at the Kickapoo Caverns property. 

PLEASE NOTE: Getting to the cave requires a 20-30 minute-long uphill hike that can be challenging on a hot summer day. Agility and stamina are also required for the cave tours that involve steep stairways and some passages with low overhead.

Further details regarding times, accessibility, and certain restrictions may be found in the FAQ section below. Please read them carefully.

FAQs

Can anyone tour the cave?

The minimum age for cave tours is 7. All attendees under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Agility and stamina are also required for the cave tours that involve steep stairways and some passages with low overhead. The cave tour can last for up to an hour, and the inside temperature of the cave is 50 degrees. There are no bats in the cave during the summer months. The cave tour is not recommended for those with claustrophobia.

What can I bring and wear to the cave tour?

This is a rain or shine event. The temperature in the cave averages 58 degrees Fahrenheit and cave tours last almost an hour, so bring a jacket or sweatshirt. We recommend safe walking or hiking shoes and clothing appropriate for hiking in a wooded area that may be hot and buggy (sandals not recommended). A full refillable water bottle is highly recommended. Waterproof shoes are a good option, as there are sometimes puddles in the cave. Footwear, clothing, and items that have been in other caves are not allowed in the cave at Kickapoo Caverns unless they have been thoroughly decontaminated with bleach. Cameras are allowed. Backpacks, handbags, wheels, walkers, hiking sticks, food and beverages are not allowed in the cave. If you bring those things, you may leave then in the cave entrance building while you are in the cave. Please put your name on personal belongings that you may want to leave in the cave entrance while on your tour.

Will there be bats in the cave?

There are no bats in the cave during summer months.

Are there bathrooms on the property?

There are men's and women's pit toilets in an outhouse.

(PHOTO: Participants tour the Kickapoo Caverns cave system during a 2023 Mississippi Valley Conservancy tour.)

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Mississippi Valley Conservancy may be taking photographs at this event and I have no objection to them using images that include me or members of my family for the sole purpose of promoting their mission to protect land and water.
July 13, 2024
09:30 am–10:30 am
Location
Kickapoo Caverns, near Wauzeka, WI
Directions

This event will take place at the Kickapoo Caverns nature preserve near Wauzeka, WI. Directions and details will be sent out prior to the event for all participants.