Bat Cave Preserve

Bat Cave is the largest known granite fissure cave in North America and is home to the endangered Indiana bat.  Located near Lake Lure, North Carolina, the cave and its surroundings are protected by The Nature Conservancy as the Bat Cave Preserve.

The cave is accessible only through The Nature Conservancy's field trip program, which is offered in the summer months.  The hike through the preserve to reach the cave opening is a treat for nature-lovers, but the cave itself is closed to the public at all times.

Hikers trek a mile up a steep trail through the mature hardwood forest that cloaks the rugged slopes of Hickory Nut Gorge.  Upon reaching the cave, hikers are rewarded with Bat Cave's natural air conditioning - a cool moist draft that pours constantly from vents on the side of the large cave.  The main chamber inside the cave is a dark cathedral more than 300 feet long and approximately 85 feet high.

Hours of Operation

The preserve is open to the public only through guided tours offered by The Nature Conservancy.


Off Hwy. 9 between Bat Cave and Lake Lure.

The Nature Conservancy
Mountains Office, NC Chapter
PO Box 17519
Asheville, NC 28816
(828) 350-1431


PO Box 17519
Asheville, NC 28816
The Nature Conservancy

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