Stretch your legs on nearly two miles of easy walking trails. Explore blue holes, limestone bluffs and a natural spring. Along the Blue Hole Trail, you can visit the remains of stone buildings that once stored dynamite used in quarrying limestone.

The greenway is located above the valley and is perfect for walkers, runners, and strollers. Pets on leashes are welcome, please leave only paw prints.

Trails open 7 days each week from 8:00 am – 7:30 pm.

Gem Mining

Inspire your budding geologists as they pan for gemstone or fossil treasures! They’ll find Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Pyrite, Amber or even Horn Coral! Along with the bag of treasure filled sluice material, children receive a key card which will help them identify their new treasures.

Lost River Cave Gem Mining Yellow Bag

Cave Boat Tour and Yellow Bag of Gems:

  • Adults package price (ages 13 and up) $2 savings
  • Kids package price (ages 4-12) $2 savings

Take advantage of this special offer inside the Gift Shop!

Buy a Big Bonus Bag for $24.95 and receive a Red Bag of Gems FREE! ($6.95 in Savings)

Take advantage of this special offer inside the Gift Shop! No coupon necessary.

Gift Shop

Stop in at the Lost River Cave Gift Shop and check out an array of unique items for every occasion! You’ll find nature-inspired, modern vintage and shabby chic gifts. We cater to the shopper who craves a cozy, down-home atmosphere as well as a great selection of merchandise.

Since opening its doors in mid-2011, the Gift Shop has set its sights on providing financial support for this region’s only Nature Center. You’ll find that the store offers a unique shopping experience with a down-to-earth local feel.

All proceeds from the Lost River Cave Gift Shop provides funding for the Woodlands, Wetlands, and Wildlife at Lost River Cave!  Thanks for your support!

Visitors Center & Gift ShopMonday – Sunday8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & New Year's Day | Closed early New Year's Eve

This interactive program is filled with activities designed to get kids ages 6-10 outdoors to explore the wonders of nature and secrets of the Cave.

Pick up a booklet inside our Gift Shop, complete the activities, and receive your Jr. Tour Guide badge and official certificate.

Gift Certificates make great gifts for friends, family, and employees!  They can be purchased at any denomination and be redeemed for Gift Shop Merchandise, Memberships, Facility Rentals, Cave Boat Tours, the Jr. Naturalist Program, etc!

All WKU Students will receive $10 off $30 in the Gift Shop! (Must show Student ID)

Nature Explore Playscape

The Monticello Banking Company Nature Explore Playscape is the playground for your imaginative, curious kids! With all-natural elements, kids can use their imaginations to create a world of their own in nature. Whether their exploring the “cave”, building a fort, or staging a performance on the Thistle Theatre stage, a good time is sure to be had by children ages 6-12.

Butterfly Habitat

This seasonal attraction is cherished by locals and visitors alike! Step through the entrance and observe the beauty and wonder that surrounds you. Our screened-in garden supports native Kentucky butterfly species and offers access to nature at no cost!

The Charlie Miller Butterfly Habitat is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from sunrise to sunset!

Monarch Danaus plexippus

“Hi! I am a monarch butterfly! I am one of the most recognizable and well studied butterflies on earth! I have orange wings laced with black lines and bordered with white dots, cute right?”


Painted Lady Vanessa cardui

“Why hello! I am a painted lady. Sometimes people call me the thistle butterfly because thistle plants are my favorite nectar plant for food! I am known for my speed and I can reach up to nearly 30 miles per hour!”

Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae

“Hi, I am a gulf fritillary! Try saying that 5 times fast! The females lay small yellow eggs singly on or near leaves, stems or tendrils of purple passionflowers!”

Common Buckeye Junonia coenia

“Hi! I am a common buckeye. Eyes on the back of your head? I have “eyes” on the back of my wings that are outlined in orange!  My favorite host plants are snapdragon, monkey flowers, plantains, and reullia!”

Giant Swallowtail Papilio cresphontes

“Howdy! I am the giant swallowtail! I am the largest butterfly in North America with a wingspan of up to 7 inches! My favorite host plants are citrus!”

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta

“Hey! I am a red admiral! You know when you humans reach down to pull a weed and realize its too late and that it was a stinging nettle? Those are my absolute favorite host plants!”

Want to create a butterfly garden in your own backyard? Check out this blog post with steps to get started!

Local artists Hadleigh Chapman and Novelty V. Habit donated their time and talent to create an amazing mural on the side of the Gift Shop to raise awareness of the need for the ongoing support of the Butterfly Habitat.


Come spread your wings and tag #lostrivercave as you take flight for an awesome cause!

Every year it takes about $20,000 to provide the Habitat free-of-charge for the community and travelers, alike. If you’d like to help with the cost of butterflies, plants, and care, donate here

There’s so much more going on at Lost River Cave. Check out the full calendar of upcoming events.