Listed Price: $ 1,700,000
Huge Commercial Cave In The Ozarks For Sale
THIS COMMERCIAL SHOW CAVE has several springs, smaller caves, an old zinc mine, and a beautiful canyon. Crinoid fossils are found in abundance in the cave and outside.
The entrance to the main cave is spectacular — a towering cliff adjacent to the beautiful park area features two waterfalls; the smaller one runs constantly (perennial) into a clear pool by the cave opening and is fed by the underground springs that form the start of a river, and the taller is operated via pump to spill majestically from an opening in the cliff face down past the cave entrance. The cave gate, a spider web of metal, allows visitors to step into an enchanted world.
The entire 186.6 acre property would be perfect for an adventure camp, church camp, cabin rentals, golf course, zip line or theme park. Or it could just be used as a private residence. With the extensive cave that has its own water supply, this would be the perfect Prepper property.
The Boston Mountains form the southwestern part of the Ozark Plateau where this cave is. This scenic mountain range is the highest and most rugged portion of the Ozarks. Summits can reach elevations of just over 2,560 feet with valleys 500 to 1,500 feet deep.
The highest elevation on the 186 acres is about 1,340 ft. and the lowest elevation will be about 1,020 ft.
The cave is 58 degrees year-round.
Two long passages are used for wild cave tours:
The East Passage has stunning, world-class formations and starts with a boat ride on the underground river.
The North Passage takes you on an archaeological adventure into the Great Maze, through short-faced bear beds, past bear claw marks on the walls, and to the pit where the skeleton of a saber-toothed tiger was found.
Ice age mammal skeletons (Smithson, short-faced bear & Saber Tooth tiger) found in the cave.
Numerous Native American artifacts have been found in and near the cave. The skeleton of a 15-year old boy, dated about 8,000 years old, was found deep in the cave.
This famous cave has been featured in numerous magazines, on tourism websites, and even in the DeLorme Arkansas guide.
The park area is well landscaped and features several ponds, 2 bridges, numerous picnic tables, and a picnic shelter. The ponds are usually kept full year round by the stream flowing from the cave. The entire park area is remarkably peaceful and quiet.
The property has a large parking lot and a building that operated for years as a gift shop downstairs and living quarters upstairs. The building is structurally sound but needs work to repair damage from an electrical fire. Remodeling and repair work has been started on the interior. The living quarters could definitely be converted into a guest house or B&B. There were 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and living room upstairs, so one could house at least 4 people there comfortably. And probably 2 more downstairs if it was remodeled. As just an estimate, it might take $100,000 to finish it if you did the work yourself. Needs a new roof, siding and a few more windows. The large windows are all new.
Municipal Electricity on-site (building rewiring is 10% done), and the plumbing is 95% intact.
The water source for the building and grounds is a well. No municipal water. Depth of well and gpm unknown but it is a good one. All new well controls have been installed.
There is potential for a geothermal system to be installed for the building. There is a small natural opening in the cliff below the building that vents warm air in the winter, obviously tied into the cave system somehow.
The property is not in or by a national forest.
186.6 acres is all wooded. Timbered about 25 years ago
As far as I know, Searcy county does not have zoning, nor am I aware of building/development restrictions.
The road needs repair. We’ve been filling potholes. The final 1/2 mile to the cave is in fair condition. If the road was to be converted to gravel then the county would maintain it, assuming you did it to meet their specs.
The property has not been surveyed. No planning work has been done that I know of. Basically it is waiting for someone with the vision to develop a comprehensive plan.
Propane tank is present. The septic system is operational and was inspected in 2015 with no deficiencies noted; a permit was not required when installed years ago.
There is another pond below the zinc mine area that would make an excellent site for cabins. The property is perfect for rock climbing and hiking, and has enough acres to be developed into an adventure park or camp. A zip-line could be installed. There is also an overlook that offers a fantastic view over the Ozark hills.
Ownership of the 2-mile road from the parking lot to a state highway, the large billboard on stone foundations by the highway and another billboard are also included with the property.
Legend has it that the Jesse James/Cole Younger gang hid out in the cave. A branch of the Younger family owned the cave at one time.
Above the walkway in the lighted portion of the cave, there is a section with an alternate passage that is fun to explore!
A bat survey was conducted in 2016 and 84 tricolor bats were found with no evidence of White Nose Syndrome.
During the past 2 years, a huge effort has been made to improve the cave and surrounding area. The cave electrical system has received a complete upgrade: new breaker boxes and junction boxes, new waterfall and water well controls, new electrical outlets and many new sockets, approximately 120 new LED bulbs, new wiring where needed and expanded lighting of the Big Room.
Approximately 400 feet of walkway over the stream in the cave has been redone. Old, rotten boards have been removed and Berboard has been installed (won’t rot, is mold-proof, and should last 50 years). The bridge to the Big Room now has new decking and railings. Bearboard treads have been installed on the stairs to the Balcony Room. Repair work is being done on the railings by the cave entrance.
New cedar fence boards have been installed by the parking lot entrance.
The landscaping has been greatly improved by the services of a professional landscape designer.
Potential Uses of the Property:
The property has not been opened to the public for 2 years as a show cave but with a little work to the building this could easily be done. A small museum could be built or incorporated into the existing building to highlight Ice Age mammals, Native American culture, history of the region, cave formations, etc. The location is excellent for a Bed & Breakfast.
Items to be included with the property when sold:
Some geodes, display cases, benches and other building contents, including refrigerators, air conditioners, in-line water heater, water softener, etc. All mineral rights possessed by the current owner will also transfer.
Some renovation needed on parking lot and gift shop, etc.
Estimated cost to renovate, $100,000 +/–
PRICE REDUCED FROM $2.1 M TO $1.7 M,
A REDUCTION OF $400,000 IN PRICE.
$5,000 earnest money required.
Property to be viewed by appointment only; absolutely no trespassing. Prospective buyers will be allowed access only to the lighted portion of the cave. See photos for wild caving passages.
Serious inquiries by qualified buyers only!!!