KSC Entrance

Kingston Saltpeter Cave
  Nature Preserve

The Kingston Saltpeter Cave Nature Preserve, Bartow County, Georgia is composed of 40 acres of largely hardwood forest, underlain by a variety of wildflowers and mosses. The area is teeming with wildlife, from deer and an occasional bear to small rodents, snakes, birds and microscopic life. The Preserve is located almost entirely on and along the flanks of a large isolated dolomitic knob, providing an incredible vista in all directions. Out-croppings of the Knox series of dolomite are found, along with an array of multi-colored agates. The focal point of the Preserve is the Kingston Saltpeter Cave, and it is for the protection of this endangered natural resource that the Preserve has been established.

In late 1983 the Felburn Foundation acquired the property for the purpose of preserving, maintaining, and protecting it for future generations. The NSS manages the cave under an agreement with the Felburn Foundation. To date, the acquisition, improvement, and maintenance of the cave and property has been at no cost to the Society, all expenses are being borne by the Felburn Foundation and the Project co-directors.

The Kingston Saltpeter Cave Preserve is administered by a permanent committee of the NSS, headed by Larry Blair. Barriers on the cave entrances and along the access road have been constructed, the property posted, and the cave has undergone a thorough cleaning by NSS members, with care having been taken to preserve any items of historical value.

This cave has been heavily visited, and vandalized, since its saltpeter mining days. During the 1930's, it was briefly commercialized. Kingston Saltpeter Cave is probably Georgia's most historic cave. The Pleistocene fossil record and archaeological evidence alone warrant its protection and continued study.

The Preserve and the cave itself presently are not open to the general public. Although general maintenance trips are conducted and the property is checked from time-to-time, sport caving is not allowed. Special interest groups are granted permission to visit the Preserve on a "case" basis only.

It is the intention of the Management Committee that after the cave's history and physiography have been fully studied and the findings are published, then possibly more recreational trips will be allowed. Members of the Management Committee are working hard to recover this abused treasure.

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If you have questions about this Preserve, e-mail Larry Blair at kingstoncommittee@caves.org


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