You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Longhorn Cavern State Park provides illuminating experience
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Staff from Texas Parks and Wildlife, Longhorn Cave Tours Inc., area chambers of commerce, as well as volunteers and dozens of guests were on hand at Longhorn Cavern State Park July 19 to cut the ribbon and ceremoniously “reopen” the popular Hill Country destination, following a major renovation of the cave’s lighting system.
Some $700,000 of low-voltage quartz halogen lights, sophisticated switches, and miles of new wiring provide not only dramatic new views inside the cavern, but the system’s low heat output is better suited to help protect the cave’s delicate ecosystem balance. The renovation marked the park’s first lighting upgrade since the original incandescent bulbs were installed by the Civilian Conservation Corp during the 1930s.
“This is fantastic; it’s like coming down into the cave for the first time,” said Terry Rodgers, superintendent of the Inks Lake Complex, which oversees operations at the Cavern, which is operated by a private business contract concessionaire, Longhorn Cave Tours. “The new features outlined in the light are incredible.”
Once home to mammoths, ancient peoples, Confederate soldiers, and allegedly even Old West outlaws, Longhorn Cavern State Park today attracts tens of thousands of visitors to its 645 acres above and below ground. And park operator Michelle Devaney thinks that the improvements will help draw even more folks.
“The new lighting system puts into place a way for visitors to go through this cavern and see the features illuminated in a way that brings to life the geology and beauty. Taking out the old lighting also helps to protect and preserve this amazing resource for a long, long time,” she said.
For more information about Longhorn Cavern State Park, call (830) 598-CAVE (598-2283), or visit http://www.longhorncaverns.com, or http://www.texasstateparks.org.
More about the caverns
Longhorn Cavern State Park features Longhorn Cavern, a Texas Hill Country wonder created over thousands of years by the dissolving and cutting action of water on the limestone bedrock of the area. Fossil remains show that many Ice Age animals once occupied the cave.
Earliest records indicate that the Comanche Indians were the first to use the cavern. They came in about 400 years or so before anyone else did.
In more recent history, the cavern was used as a Confederate stronghold where gunpowder was manufactured in secret during the Civil War. The cavern is also rumored to have been the hideout of Sam Bass, a legendary Texas outlaw.
Longhorn Cavern is one of the few river-formed caverns in Texas.
Longhorn Cavern State Park is located on Park Road 4 in Burnet, Texas. You can access Park Road 4 by two different routes. Take U.S. 281 between Burnet and Marble Falls and exit to Park Road 4.
For more about the park, visit www.longhorncaverns.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
(NOT May 30!) Let your imagination take shape June 30 (May 25, 2016)
Canine care helps heal community’s most vulnerable (May 25, 2016)
Divine healing training June 2-4 (May 25, 2016)
Future collectibles (May 25, 2016)
Getting past a stroke (May 25, 2016)
Musical Club tours Helmke home (May 25, 2016)
Ousley fund-raiser May 28 (May 25, 2016)
Picnic and memorial service (May 25, 2016)
Save the date for June 2 Opry Jam (May 25, 2016)
Small town, big hearts (May 25, 2016)
The stuff of which sausage is made (May 25, 2016)
Unwind, de-stress with coffee and crayons (May 25, 2016)
What you can do to prevent asthma (May 25, 2016)
Witness live wrestling at Retama Park (May 25, 2016)
Attend the 38th annual Bluebonnet Fest Parade May 21 (May 18, 2016)
Baptist church plans Men’s, Women’s Day (May 18, 2016)
Cocktail dress (May 18, 2016)
Desperate search for old photo reveals city’s lack of memorabilia (May 18, 2016)
Learn about gardening practices (May 18, 2016)
Play golf for Peanut Festival (May 18, 2016)
Setting forth in search of froth (May 18, 2016)
Sign up for Summer Reading! (May 18, 2016)
Sutherland Springs bank bandits sentenced (May 18, 2016)
Tickets on sale for June 21 Taste of Seguin (May 18, 2016)
Boldtville Church Yard Sale is May 14 (May 11, 2016)
Create interactive games, stories with Scratch (May 11, 2016)
Enter 2017 Fiesta Poster Contest (May 11, 2016)
Extraordinary minds teaching our kids (May 11, 2016)
Healing ADD without medication (May 11, 2016)
Luffa vase (May 11, 2016)
May means dancing in Geronimo (May 11, 2016)
Meet the Miss La Vernia contestants (May 11, 2016)
Resurrection UMC plans Fun Fest (May 11, 2016)
Spring comes to Blue Bonnet Club (May 11, 2016)
Swing dance in Seguin (May 11, 2016)
Tracking down a little history in Hobson (May 11, 2016)
Union Valley meeting set (May 11, 2016)
Basketball tournament May 14 (May 4, 2016)
Boy Scout celebration stirs up memories (May 4, 2016)
British Royals (May 4, 2016)
Celebrating decades of memories and music with the‘Texas Top Hands’ (May 4, 2016)
Create a yard with bird appeal (May 4, 2016)
Cruise into Floresville for Lions Car Show (May 4, 2016)
Find cheap books at Sidewalk Sale (May 4, 2016)
Hear six pianos in one room May 7 (May 4, 2016)
Hermann Sons Casino Night to benefit CASA (May 4, 2016)
Road Runners plan May group runs (May 4, 2016)
‘Battle for Texas’ now open in SA (May 4, 2016)
‘Lily pads’ for kids (May 4, 2016)