Your Weekend Road Trip to The Great Saltpetre Cave in Mt. Vernon KY Only Happens Once a Year!

Get out a pen and paper and I’ll tell you why you need to take a road trip this weekend and how cleaning the mud off your shoes afterwards will equal a wonderful weekend in Kentucky exploring history and nature like I did this time last year with friends and my Mom! Note: This weekend is your only weekend to see this cool place in 2024!


I hiked and explored a wonderful cave that is only open one weekend a year! Always the weekend after Mother's Day! Yes, it's The Great Saltpetre Cave,  the pride of Mt. Vernon, Kentucky. Just 45 minutes from Lexington, you are a hop & skip away from this interesting site. It’s partially privately owned, listed on the National Registry and maintained by some great folks like the Rockcastle conservatory and the Bluegrass and Cincinnati grottos. It’s an old saltpeter mine used to produce gun power during the War of 1812 when England stopped shipping Gun Power to the United States since we were in war with England. This little cave at one point produced more gun power than Kentucky’s giant Mammoth Cave. Isn't that wild?! In the 1970s, the space was used as a dance hall and hosted private events, open for tours and weddings. But over the years the guests became so destructive by carving their names and breaking off the rock formations for souvenirs, it was shut off to the public. Today the Rockcastle Karst Conservancy a local volunteer group that works to protect our unique karst environment in Kentucky owns and manages this location as well as others in Kentucky. They sure do a good job and so thankful they open this great gem to the public every year.  The Great Saltpetre Cave is a cool gem not far off the beaten path.

Ok got that pen ready? Mark your calendar for THIS weekend,  May 18 & 19, 2024. This is the only time this year this cave will be open! They offer free tours both days from 10 am to 3:30 p.m.  And afterwards purchase some snacks from the Livingston KY fire department who will be grilling burgers and dogs.  In years past, they have even had free soup beans and cornbread if that is your thing. How nice, how amazing, how Kentucky!!

The Great Saltpetre Cave  is popular and has a cult following so be sure and go early. You may have to wait a while to get in but the lines do move pretty quick and everyone is so friendly. It is a bit hard to find, so I will include a picture below of the directions I used and you can find tons of details on their official Facebook page -!4m2!3m1!1s0x8843266080b96c01:0x1d8ff48c504b727b?

I'm Kim Soper and I'm covering the cool things in my home state of Kentucky! Welcome and let me know if I help you in any way!

About the Author: Kim Soper is a lifelong Lexington KY resident and Realtor at United Real Estate Bluegrass. She has over 20 years experience selling real estate all over Lexington KY and the Central KY areas.  Kim is the manager/Realtor of - Home to Your Best Source for Lexington KY Real Estate!

Kim Soper, REALTOR®
Lifelong Kentuckian / Realtor® since 2004
Lexington, KY and Surrounding Central Kentucky Areas
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United Real Estate Bluegrass
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