lynae_zebest_cave_waterfall

Photo by Lynae Zebest

Spring is nearly here, and people are flocking to Missouri to stay in Branson Cabins and visit the many sights Branson has to offer. Silver Dollar City is one of the most popular places to visit while vacationing in the area. The theme park is built on the location of a cave with a rich history and incredible sights to see. The history of the theme park and surrounding Ozarks area is interwoven with the story of this wondrous cave.
The Marvel Cave was known by the local Osage tribe of Native Americans as a bottomless cave that led to the underworld. It was once thought to contain marble and in the 1800s it was explored in the hopes of containing iron and marble. It was in fact limestone not marble on the walls of the cave, and no precious metals or minerals were found.

Photo by Luke Dockery

Photo by Luke Dockery

Branson Cave

But there was one kind of treasure in that Branson cave: tons of bat guano from thousands of years of bats calling the cave home. The guano was taken out to be used as fertilizer and gunpowder, and the emptied cave was opened for tours and events, turned into the longest running attraction in Missouri.

Today, you can still visit the cave, and for only $10 at the time of writing this, you can take a complete tour of the cave. If you feel like spelunking (that means exploring a cave) you will be rewarded with beautiful views of stalactites and other rock formations. Marvel Cave goes a total of 500 feet below ground level at its lowest point, and contains the massive “Cathedral Room” which is a staggering 20 stories to the cave ceiling.

We have toured the cave several times as a family, and it is always a fun Branson experience, and in our opinion a required part of spending the day at Silver Dollar City. There are a lot of steps and some light walking involved, so you might want to sit out the tour if you have issues walking down many flights of stairs.

Photo by Shane Adams

Photo by Shane Adams

Although the guano is all gone, what about the bats? They are still there but they are an endangered Grey Bat species. Years ago they numbered in the hundreds of thousands, but their numbers dwindled to a few thousand, and have been slowly increasing since. The culprit killing them is “Whine-Nose Syndrome” which is a fungus thought to be spread by humans. So help out the bats and don’t wear clothes or shoes that have been in other caves when you visit Marvel Cave.

When planning your vacation, plan a day to see the Marvel Cave at Silver Dollar City, and contact Branson Regal to book your Branson vacation cabin. Of all the cabins in Branson MO, you won’t find ones nicer than what we have to offer.