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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Down Under

What once was a massive limestone quarry has been transformed to an underground theme park. The mine was founded by Ralph Rogers in the 1930s and, since the early 1990s, recycled concrete, brick, block, rock, and dirt have been off-loaded at the cavern to fill in the holes and create floors and internal roads.

Louisville Mega Cavern was opened in 2009 by co-owners Jim Lowry and brothers Don and Tom Tyler and is the world’s only fully underground zip line course. Evansville Living recently sent me more than 100 feet under the city on this adventure that lasts around two hours.

The Scoop

The underground adventure consists of six zip lines as high as 70 feet above the cavern floor and as long as 900 feet, and two challenge bridges that you cross to reach the next zip line on the journey. Fitted with a full body harness, trolley system, two heavy duty lanyards with safety clips, and a helmet with a miner’s light, participants are given a brief training session by two guides before beginning on a well lit and sample small zip called the “Bunny Zip.” After learning on the test zip, participants on the tour, which averages a dozen people per outing, are thrown head first into excitement on the “Zip Line to Hell.”

The Verdict

Each zip glides its riders through exhilarating views of geology with dispersed lighting to show you the way through the darkness. My tip: bring a jacket since the constant temperature is around 58 degrees. Also, if you like the idea of speed, tuck your knees as close to your chest as possible to become more aerodynamic. Arrive 45 minutes before your tour to check in, suit up, and sign a waiver. Feel free to bring your phone (the guides will fit you with an attachable pouch), take photos, and check into an underground Wi-Fi hot spot to win prizes.

Also offered is a fully underground aerial ropes challenge course, a historic underground tram ride, event space, and more.

For more information on Louisville Mega Cavern, call 877-614-6342 or visit louisvillemegacavern.com.

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