By: Melanie Warner
You haven’t really experienced a road trip until you’ve gone through Texas. Miles of prairies, lakes, trees, and sometimes… miles of nothing. The beauty of Texas Hill Country is something that every true-blooded American should experience. With the striking bluebonnets in bloom, the long grass waving as you pass, the life-altering sunsets, and ever-changing weather – you never really know what discovery a new day will bring. Right smack dab in the middle of Texas, is Hill Country. In between Burnet and Marble Falls is a hidden gem called Longhorn Cavern State Park (longhorncaverns.com).
For those of you who have never been in a cave, this one is not dark and creepy like you would naturally presume. Miles of mood lighting have been added to enhance the natural character and curves that would make Fred Flintstone envious of this extreme makeover. In fact, it was actually authorized to serve as the Southern White House. It was the official escape plan for any nuclear threats or fall out during LBJ’s presidency. You could literally run the country out of this cave.
The cave has a rich history that makes for educational and entertaining tours. It was created over many years by the natural dissolving and cutting of fast-flowing water over limestone and bedrock. Only two caves in the country were formed this way. The rock is an ancient sedimentary limestone from tropical seas 3 or 4 million years ago. A variety of architects and highly educated people were involved in the complex process of excavating it, yet making it structurally sound, while preserving historical elements.
Truth is certainly stranger than fiction when you hear the story of how a beautiful socialite was kidnapped by Indians, then valiantly rescued by a Texas Ranger, whom she fell in love with and married her hero. It was used as a hideout by outlaws and a refuge by Indians. It was turned into a speakeasy with a dance floor during Prohibition – and even served as a church the following day after each big party.
The cave is also officially haunted. Paranormal activity has been researched and documented. A paranormal cave tour is offered, plus photography tours, group tours, and other guided tours. It’s a fascinating stop on your Texas road trip adventure.
6 miles west of U.S. Hwy 281, on Park Road 4 in Burnet County, Texas
For reservations, call 877.441.CAVE