Carter Caves attracts visitors this weekend as most park attractions reopen

Local News

OLIVE HILL, KY (WOWK) Carter Caves State Park attracted many visitors as most of its attractions reopened this weekend.

The park remained open amidst COVID-19, but only the trails were open to the public. All other activities were temporarily shutdown, but this weekend nearly all reopened.

Park Naturalist, Coy Ainsley said, “being home for like 30-60 days and then getting out of those four walls and seeing people and that interaction, it feels good, which is a good thing. So, it’s good and the park I think has been good for people.”

Unfortunately, the most popular attraction in the park remains closed, the caves themselves, and at this time has no reopen date set.

“But we’re working through a plan right now, some other cave operations have opened around the United States. We’ve been in conversations like Mammoth Cave National Park, getting a feeling for what they’re doing, what have they done.” Ainsley said.

One idea on the board includes increasing tour times while significantly limiting the number of people per tour group.

Ainsley said normally 70 plus people can be on a cave tour, which could be reduced to 10 a tour to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, which in turn, may be more personable and enjoyable.

The welcome center and gift shop is open, with a limit of 10 people at a time. Camping and lodging grounds, miniature golf and horseback riding, which is a new activity, reopened operating at half-capacity.

“We’re a very big team here at Carter Caves, everybody works together really well and it was another thing that brought us together and made us stronger,” Ainsley said.

For the latest COVID-19 information and updates on Kentucky Parks, and specifically Carter Caves State Park, click here.

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