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Blanchard Caverns Celebrates 40th Anniversary | Environment

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Blanchard Caverns Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Blanchard Caverns Celebrates 40th Anniversary

FIFTY-SIX, Ark -- Blanchard Springs Caverns, located on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest will celebrate its 40th Anniversary this year. An anniversary celebration is planned for June 15, 2013, in Fifty-Six, Arkansas.

A special part of the celebration will be recognition of employees who have worked at the Caverns during the 40-year span. Past employees or family members who can attend the Celebration on June 15th are asked to call the Visitor Information Center at Blanchard Springs, (870) 757- 2211. Special name badges will be provided to former employees who worked during the initial 1973 season.

In addition to the celebration on June 15, 2013, Blanchard Springs Caverns will host “40 days of Celebration,” beginning May 29 through July 7, 2013. These 40 days will focus on topics including Stone County Day; Natural Resources Week; photo and poster contests; walking/running events; and many more. A complete listing of events is found at fs.usda.gov/osfnf. 

“The 40th anniversary of the Blanchard Springs Caverns is a great opportunity to acknowledge our past achievements and to recognize the contributions the caverns have made, not only to the local community, but to Arkansas in general. It is not just a commemoration, but recognition of 40 years of conservation leadership and sustained operation of Blanchard Springs Caverns,” said Sylamore District Ranger Jim McCoy.

Blanchard Springs Caverns, located in Stone County, approximately 2 miles off Highway 14 near Mountain View, Arkansas, has been offering one of the most spectacular and carefully developed caves in the United States since it opened on July 7, 1973.  Visitors enter a "living" cave where glistening stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and flowstones are still changing.  These crystalline formations are the result of minerals deposited by dripping water. 


The Caverns consist of a three-level cave system, two of which are open for guided tours by Forest Service employees.

·         Dripstone Trail – This half-mile trail offers a shorter, easier way through the caverns. Stairs can be avoided, making trails accessible for wheelchairs and strollers (with an assistant).

·         Discovery Trail - The longer, more strenuous of the trails (1.2 miles with nearly 700 stairs) explores the middle level of the Caverns system.  Discovery in the Dark Headlamp tours are conducted in the last part of the Discovery Trail, September through May. Visitors are supplied with helmets and headlamps, and tours are conducted by Forest Service guides with the cave lights off.

·         Wild Cave Tour - This tour offers an introduction to off trail caving in a structured environment. The newest of the Caverns tours takes visitors to the undeveloped sections of the middle level. 


For additional information, contact Blanchard Springs Caverns at (870) 757-2211 or visit the web at fs.usda.gov/osfnf.