Kickapoo Caverns Tour I – SOLD OUT
Guided cave tours at Kickapoo Caverns will be offered by Mississippi Valley Conservancy to share information about the beneficial role of bats and the importance of protecting their native habitat. Kickapoo Caverns, an 83-acre nature preserve near Wauzeka, Wisconsin includes 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 on two dates: July 13 and August 3, 2019. Registration will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis. The tours are part of the Conservancy’s Seasons in the Coulee Region series of outdoor events sponsored by Gundersen Health System.
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. Of particular concern is white-nose syndrome, a debilitating fungal infection that disrupts the hibernation of bats. 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 three 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: After sign-up (below), registrants will be assigned and notified of their cave tour start time between 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. 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. If this tour is full, please check for openings in Kickapoo Caverns Tour II on August 3rd.
This is a rain or shine event, and temperatures can vary greatly from summer heat outdoors to 50 degrees inside of 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 very 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.
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.
Getting to the cave requires a 20-30 minute-long uphill hike that can be very 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. 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 50 degrees Fahrenheit and cave tours last almost an hour, so bring a jacket. 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. Cameras are allowed. Backpacks, handbags, wheels, walkers, hiking sticks, food and beverages are not allowed in the cave. If you bring a water bottle or bag, you may leave it in the cave entrance building while you are in the cave. To protect threatened bat populations, all who tour the cave will be asked to decontaminate their footwear and clothing upon returning home using simple instructions that will be provided.
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.
Our system requires each attendee to register separately.
From La Crosse: Take Hwy 35 south 40 mi. Turn left (east) at Lynxville onto County Road F and go 3.5 miles. Turn right (south) onto Hwy 27 S and go 6.6 mi. Turn left onto County Road N and go just over ¼-mile. Turn right (south) onto Dutch Ridge Rd. and go 0.8 mi. Turn a very slight left (east) onto Rhein Hollow Rd. Go 3.7 miles to the gate at 54850 Rhein Hollow Rd, on the left (north side of the road).
From Wauzeka: Head west on Highway 60 for 2.2 miles. Turn right (north) onto Dutch Ridge Rd. and go 1 mi. Stay straight onto Rhein Hollow Rd and go 1.1 mi. Look for the gate at 54850 Rhein Hollow Road, on the right.
Please plan ahead to arrive, park, and hike for 30 minutes before your tour start time. Consider carpooling if you know of other people attending a tour on the same day.