Information on:

Lost River Cave

2818 Nashville Road

About Us:

In 1986 the Cave entrance and the 25-acre wooded valley was donated to Western Kentucky University by its owners: WKU professor Dr. Raymond Cravens, WKU Physical Plant Administrator Owen Lawson and Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Highbaugh. The donation served as the springboard for the restoration and preservation of Lost River Cave and the surrounding natural environment.

A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, The Friends of the Lost River, Inc. (dba Lost River Cave) was incorporated in 1990 to facilitate the conservation and sustainability of the Cave and surrounding area. In the spring of 1999, visionary board member Dr. Nicholas Crawford, Director of WKU's Center for Cave and Karst Studies, convinced the board to build a dam inside the Cave with the aim of providing float tours of the interior. His idea was to generate funding for the conservation effort; his logic was along the lines of if we build it they will come.

In 2001, the threat of commercial development on land directly adjacent to the Cave and valley compelled the Friends organization to pursue protection of that land as well. Drawing on support from the City Commission and the Greenways Commission of Bowling Green and Warren County, an additional 42 acres was purchased. Since then, acquisition of additional parcels has expanded the park to 70-acres that offers trails, wetlands, meadows and a restored prairie.

Today, the income from the underground boat tour, gift shop and event rentals sustain the ongoing work to preserve and maintain Lost River Cave as a cultural and natural landmark. Local visitors to the park may decide to purchase a park membership, make a donation or volunteer service hours to contribute to the Friends' mission.


To enrich our community by providing nature experiences, education, and stewardship of Lost River Cave.


Sai Kumar

Friday, June 1, 2018
We ended up going to the lantern caves guided night tour at the lost river. the activity was worth and the best of my trip. The guides were cool, gave us a detailed report of how the gorge and boulders were formed. I went through all the 12 caves and loved a rather different thing to do after quite sometime. It was by far the best thing i liked during a trip. Would definitely suggest this tour for a $33 per person.

Robert Young

Monday, June 11, 2018
Water doesn't bother me. Caves don't bother me. Rushing water and dams make me a little uneasy. For me, the boat ride was pretty intense. The water is very smooth BUT both ends have dams that are very noisy and quite old. The deepest part of the boat ride was, for me, very scary. My adreniline was up for sure but only because of the "perception" of danger. The ride itself is glassy, and the cave is beautiful. Beware that you must duck VERY low to get under one section of the boat ride.

Crystal Burg

Sunday, June 10, 2018
Nice place. Has nature trails and a butterfly exhibit besides the boat tour. Nice place to visit when it's hot. Always 60's inside the cave. Although it is a little pricey. is a non-profit organization so all the $ stays with the park. We still enjoyed it.

Mark Haller

Saturday, May 19, 2018
Great to do on a hot day as it is very cool in the large cave. You need to be reasonably mobile but not super fit to do this activity. It is not the most exciting cave to visit but it is very well done and fairly safe. There are new zip lines that we did not evaluate but looked super.

Maria Davila

Friday, April 27, 2018
This is one of my most favorite places in the world. I prefer to go early in the morning, during the weekdays, or when it's raining out to enjoy the peaceful quiet nature. It's easy to become grounded in this peaceful space, which provides a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Bowling Green. They have picnic tables which I have often stopped to eat my takeout or fast food at on the way home, and the butterfly garden, which is most active on the hottest day, is magical.

Lost River Cave is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media