Cave tours offered in Kickapoo Caverns
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — A limited number of guided cave tours at Kickapoo Caverns will be offered by Mississippi Valley Conservancy in July and August, 2019.
The Conservancy will 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, includes a large cave that serves as a hibernation site for several bat species. The tours will be limited in size and held on July 13 and August 13, 2019. Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. Details and registration are available here.
The minimum age for a cave tour is seven and 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. The cave tours 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. The cave tour is not recommended for those with claustrophobia.
The Conservancy recommends attendees bring a full refillable water bottle, waterproof shoes and layered clothing.
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.
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.
Attendees should arrive, park, and hike for 30 minutes before tour start time.
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