Stop #8 The Coolness of the Cave - Narrator: Peggy Nims
Hidden River Cave has an unusually large opening, creating a naturally "air-conditioned" amphitheater. According to a local story, in 1867 the famous naturalist, John Muir, passed through Horse Cave on his thousand mile walk to the Gulf, but he couldn't find any residents – until he found the entire population of the town enjoying a cool afternoon in the cave entrance! Around World War One, Horse Cave boasted the world's only air-conditioned tennis court in the mouth of the cave. However, by the 1940's the river had become so polluted that the stench from the contaminated water kept people from enjoying the cave entrance as they had in the past. Fortunately, thanks to the concerted efforts of the American Cave Conservation Association, the City of Horse Cave, and local residents, the river has been restored to a nearly pristine condition. Today the cave mouth is a lovely, cool, green space in the center of town, where outdoor concerts take place.