Tom Morris and Dave Wilson will lead another fun-filled Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute field trip on November 7, 2016, to Bat Cave, located near Newberry, and managed by Santa Fe Community College. Bat Cave is not quite as large as Carlsbad Caverns, so the trip is limited to the first 12 applicants. There is a $20 fee, all of which goes to support the important work of the Springs Institute.
The trip will be marginally strenuous at best. Expect to see the inside of the Floridan Aquifer, lots of rock, fossils, an underground lake, blind cave crayfish, and maybe even a few napping eastern pipistrelle bats (affectionately known to cavers as “pips”).
Wear old clothes and lace-up shoes you do not mind getting dirty (sneakers are fine). Also, a pair of gloves is not a bad idea. Gardening-type gloves are okay. The temperatures in the cave will be right around 72 degrees F. We will wade in water to around mid-thigh deep, so bring a set of dry clothes to change into afterwards. There is a nice field house with bathrooms.
Cave helmets to protect our noggins will be provided at the field house. Bring your favorite flashlight with fresh batteries because they will NOT be provided, and it is dark in caves. Also, bring a bag lunch so we can sit around and eat and chat after our adventure.
SFCC has a great website for Bat Cave. Click here to read about the cave’s geology, hydrology, and other interesting stuff. Directions to the cave are given, but we will repeat them below.
From Gainesville: Go W on FL 26 to Newberry. Turn right on US 27/41 and go N for 3.6 miles to NW 46th Ave. Turn left and go W for 2 miles to Santa Fe sign on right. Turn right and go N on dirt road 0.3 miles to fenced site. Park outside gate.
From High Springs: From town center, go S on US 27/41 for 8.7 miles to NW 46th Ave. turn right and go W for 2 miles to Santa Fe sign on right. Turn right and go N on dirt road 0.3 miles to fenced site. Park outside gate.
Let’s meet at 10 am at the Bat Cave. We will probably spend about two hours prepping and caving, and then another hour eating lunch. Everyone loves Bat Cave. So, sign up now.