Kentucky Places: Louisville Mega Cavern

Underneath the Louisville Zoo and all ten lanes of the Watterson Expressway lies a 100 acre cavern with 4 million square feet of space and seventeen miles of corridors. The cavern was created by a limestone quarry; miners blasted a massive amount of limestone out of it in between the early 1930s and the early 1970s. Louisville Crushed Stone was founded by Ralph Rogers, who was known to have the ability to accurately predict how much stone he could extract from a site just by looking at it. In 1989, private investors bought the cavern and converted a portion of it into a “green” commercial storage facility. The Louisville Mega-Cavern is the largest building in Kentucky (it even has its own building code), the largest recycling center in Kentucky (by tonnage), and is the only dually-zoned site in Kentucky (one zone above-ground, one zone underground). The Cavern offers daily historic tours via SUV-pulled tram and zip-line tours. For a mere $10,000, you can secure a safe spot for yourself in case of nuclear or other disaster.

Between mid-November and New Year’s Day, the Mega Cavern is transformed into an underground holiday (Christmas – both religious and secular - and a bit of Hanukkah) light spectacular. You can drive your own car through the cavern in about 30 minutes and see over 1 million lights and 500 lit characters. I really can’t accurately describe how much my children adored Lights Under Louisville. We are a young family, and still melding together our holiday traditions and creating some of our own. Needless to say, we’ll be headed here again next year.

More information:

Open through January 1st
Monday-Friday: 6 – 10 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 5 – 10 p.m.
Admission: Car-Mini-van, $25; more for vans, limos (!), and buses
Location: 1841 Taylor Avenue, Louisville, KY 40213