Now that Bear Shark is coming up on his 2nd birthday and quite capable on his feet, we’ve been making a bigger effort to get out and explore what’s within driving distance of Austin. Longhorn Cavern State Park has been on my Texas travel bucket list for quite some time, so I was highly anticipating seeing this place in person.
The drive to Burnet took about an hour and a half. We bought tickets for the first tour group, which was nice to not bump into other groups until we were on our way out. There were quite a few other families with small children, so we didn’t feel too self-conscious of our kids hollering to hear their own echoes.
If I heard the tour guide correctly, this is one of two cave systems in the U.S. created by an underground river (vs. a drip system). The other one is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. This explains why there aren’t the stalactites and stalagmites that are in most caves.
I really enjoyed seeing how the “rooms” in the cave changed in texture from sedimentary layers to smooth limestone. Even more interesting is the history of this cave and how people used to have dance parties and dinner parties in there during the Prohibition. Sounds like they had a lot of fun back then!
The tour took about an hour total, and we really enjoyed our visit despite the Big Kid’s thinking it was “creepy.” Short hiking trails are also on the property and do not require an entrance fee.
There is something so amazing and awe-inspiring about being in nature. We’re planning more outdoors/nature trips this year, and my hope is as my boys become better at traveling and finding their legs, we’ll be able to visit more and more parks, mountains, cliffsides, oceans, waterfalls, forests, rivers and everything in between.
Longhorn Cavern State Park
6211 Park Road 4 So.
Burnet, TX 78611