If you are driving South on I-65, it seems as if every other billboard sign is advertising this “underground zip line” with a cartoon character holding on to handlebars and flying through caves. My first thought goes instantly to the South Park episode where the boys were almost bored to death on a zip line course. My second thought is caves sound pretty cool. Well, after crossing state lines too many times, those repeated billboard signs finally sold me on an experience. For Valentine’s Day, DiscoverTheMidwest went to Louisville to see what the Mega Cavern had to offer.
When I Googled “underground zip lining,” the first site to pop up was www.louisvillemegacavern.com. After perusing through the website, I found that zip-lining was not the only underground adventure that Mega Caverns had to offer. The sight also opened my eyes to the Mega Quest (underground ropes challenge course), Mega Tram (underground tram tour adventure-no walking required), and the recently opened Mega Underground Bike Park, (this is nothing short of every style of riders’ fantasy located 100 feet below the earth’s surface). Though the Bike Park looked most intriguing, I reminded myself that it was Valentine’s Day, and my bikes would have to wait for another weekend to open up.
One feature that is not yet posted on their website is the 10% discount if you purchase a combo package. By combo package, they mean you purchase two or more adventurous experiences at once. I figured since we were driving more than 2 hours away, we might has well make a day out of it and go for the combo package. So I called up a sales representative and he set us up. I suggest calling the representatives as opposed to making a reservation online. That way you can ensure that you are getting the 10% break. Our total cost for two people to take part in the Mega Quest and Mega Zip was $225.14. I know the price is steep, even with the 10% discount, but when you are checking something off your bucket list, you might as well drop the coin.
We had no trouble finding the place at all. Just follow the countless billboards on the highway and they will keep appearing until you are pretty much in the parking lot. Despite its location being surrounded by industrial buildings, The Mega Caverns’ entrance winds all the way behind these buildings and sinks down into the parking lot that is enclosed by 100 foot limestone walls. One can only hope that the owners of Mega Caverns will eventually capitalize on their location and set up some climbing routes for us Midwestern climbers. Time will tell.
The Mega Quest Course
After getting all checked in, we threw some of our layers in a locker and got geared up. The staff was very nice and informative when teaching us how to use the locking mechanisms. Once we passed inspection, they cut us loose and the ropes challenge course was free range. It was nice being able to complete different parts of the course at our own pace. We were able to make the course as difficult or as easy as we wanted to. There were a few staff members walking around to provide anyone in need of assistance, but for the most part, you are pretty much on your own. I liked that.
The Mega Zips Course
Zip Lining was a whole different experience compared to the Mega Quest Course. While preparing to zip line, the staff gears you up and prepares you for how the zip lining “tour” will go. Because it is a tour, each zip lining group is assigned two staff members to zip you through the cave to ensure your safety and provide you with some interesting facts about Mega Caverns. Our two guides, Quinten and Emily, were awesome. They definitely made our experience more interesting, funny, and exciting.
There is no music.
Maybe it has something to do with the acoustics of the caves, but there is no music playing anywhere in Mega Caverns. This makes it slightly awkward when the only thing you here on the Mega Quest course is a 13 year old girl shouting, “Amy!” over and over.
Dress in layers.
The cave keeps a consistent temperature between 50 and 60 degrees. But the you do get some cold breezes on the Zip Line in the winter.
Keep the picture key chain for multiple excursions.
When you check in, they give you a bar code key chain that keeps a digital photo log of your experience.
When doing more than one course, we recommend using the same bar code key chain for both adventures. This will save you some money if you end up wanting to buy some pictures.
Not a great location for personal pictures
Although Mega Caverns has no problem with you bringing your own personal camera, the lighting is so bad that it is hard to get a good shot. In our opinion, the photos are not worth the stress of possibly breaking your camera.
Come with friends or family.
Both experiences would have been a lot of fun if we had a big group of friends.
It is definitely a worth wild place for kids.
Do more than one excursion and leave some space between them.
Leave an hour or so between different courses so you can get something to eat. There are snacks in the lobby, but nothing really hardy.