In the Activity Spotlight we highlight some of the many great activities available within a short drive from Ravenwood Castle.
Our guests have many reasons to visit us at Ravenwood Castle. Some come for the peace and quiet. Some come for a romantic getaway. Some come for the gaming. Whatever brings you to the castle, while you’re with us you may find yourself wanting to get out and explore our beautiful surroundings. You’ll have a lot of choices of destination, but Ash Cave should be at the top of the list!
Ash Cave is the largest recess cave east of the Mississippi, and is sure to leave a lasting impression on you. The cave boasts a 700 foot horseshoe shaped rim which rises 90 feet from the forest floor. During the rainy season a runoff waterfall plunges from the center of the rim to a standing pool below.
You will start your hike to the cave through a narrow gorge lined with massive beech trees, hemlocks and other hardwoods. The gorge path covers approximately a quarter of a mile before opening up to the tremendous overhanging ledge and cave.
How the feature was named Ash Cave is a bit of a mystery. The name itself arises from the huge ash piles found in the area by early settlers, some reaching 100 feet long, 30 feet wide and 3 feet deep. What caused the ash piles is the true mystery. There are many theories, including use of the area by Native Americans to smelt either silver or lead from the rocks.
A visit to Ash Cave is a treat any time of year, but if you plan to be in the area on December 10 you will not want to miss an annual tradition – Christmas in Ash Cave. This event starts at 5:00pm and ends at 7:00pm. The holiday program begins with an unguided lantern walk along the paved trail. When you arrive at the rim you will be able to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies by the fire while listening to holiday carolers. Children will have a chance to visit with Santa Claus himself, and help decorate a Christmas tree for the wildlife. It is sure to a magical time for all!