The Mega Underground Bike Park has 45 trails for all biking abilities. (Photo: Louisville Mega Cavern)
Louisville Mega Cavern is not just one underground adventure, but many Mega adventures in one. This man-made cavern, which stretches for miles at 100 feet below the Louisville Zoo in northern Kentucky, is home to the only underground bike park, zip line course and aerial ropes challenge course in the world.
Louisville Mega Cavern opened to the public in 2009 and is co-owned by Jim Lowry and brothers Don and Tom Tyler. This man-made cave once operated as the Louisville Crushed Stone Mine, providing limestone for road construction projects until the 1970s. During the Cuban missile crisis, it was reserved as a bomb shelter. The cavern, which is classified as a building due to its support structures, is open year-round and maintains a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s the Mega Underground Bike Park that first caught my attention. There are more than 45 subterranean trails within 320,000 square feet of the cavern that are suitable for bikers of all experience levels. The 12 miles of trails include jump lines, pump tracks, dual slalom, BMX, cross country, and single track. Signs indicate the difficulty of the trails.
Bikers must be 7 years to ride and anyone under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Bike rentals are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Daily rates range from $24-$40.
The Louisville Mega Caverns is also home to the only underground zip-line course, Mega Zips, which begins with a leap off of a 70-foot cliff into a pit of darkness. The course’s six zip lines and three challenge bridges vary in height from the cavern floor to 10 stories above it and the trip is about 2 ½ hours long. Each participant is outfitted with a full-body harness, trolley system and heavy-duty lanyards with safety clips.
The cost of Mega Zips is $59-$79 per person and participants must weigh between 55 and 285 pounds. Children as young as age 7 can participate, and those ages 14 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Reservations are suggested.
Mega Quest is an aerial ropes challenge course featuring 76 challenging elements. Participants are outfitted with a full-body harness, a double-hooked belay and helmet. There is no minimum age to participate; however, guests must be able to reach a minimum height of 50 inches with the palm of the hand and cannot weigh more than 310 pounds. The cost of Mega Quest is $29-$39 and, once again, reservations are suggested.
For those looking for a low-key adventure, the cavern also offers an hour-long Historic Tram Tour that briefs visitors on the history, geology, mining history, recycling and green building technology within the cavern.
The Mega Cavern is also outfitted for holiday enjoyment. From mid-November through December, visitors can drive through the cavern to view the Lights Under Louisville, an underground holiday light display featuring 850 lit characters and over 2 million points of light.
To learn more, visit http://www.louisvillemeagacavern.com/ or call 877-614-6342.