Cathedral Caverns State Park adds safety measures for cave tours

Cathedral Caverns State Park adds safety measures for cave tours

WOODVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - State parks across the Tennessee Valley are expected to be busy this weekend for Memorial Day.

But before you head out, there are some new guidelines you will have to adhere by.

Cathedral Caverns State Park is a popular attraction that attracts thousands of people each year.

But due to COVID-19, park officials said they were hit with a major impact after they were forced to stop their cave tours.

“We had to lay off a lot of our seasonal employees off and we’ve been closed since March 16th. That was the last day doing tours and it’s really affected our budget," said Park Superintendent Chris Bentley.

Bentley said school closures played a key factor in their financial loss.

“The cave tour wise attracts about 55,000 to 60,000 guests a year and school groups as well. Financially we lost a lot of money on not being able to educate the school groups and bring them through," said Bentley.

Now, with the new amended safer at home order, Bentley said they have been able to reopen the tours, but at a reduced size.

“We have everybody practicing social distancing and have limited tours to 15 people, actually 14 with one being the tour guide and they are wearing a mask making sure everyone is safe," said Bentley.

Park attendees are not required to wear facial coverings, but must remain 6 feet apart while on the tour.

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