This post is in partnership with Horse Cave/Hart County Tourist Commission. Thank you all for supporting those that make Notable Kentucky possible. All opinions expressed are my own. J.C. Phelps, Notable Kentucky.
photos courtesy of J.C. Phelps, Notable Kentucky
Horse Cave Stories Cell Phone Tour
Hey y’all! Ready to embark on your next adventure? Look no further than the Horse Cave Stories Cell Phone Tour! The tour, which is spread across downtown Horse Cave, is an homage to the town’s history, culture, and stories. Storytelling, by my standard, is both a Kentucky and a southern art. It’s important to who we are as a Commonwealth and who we are as a people. You’ll love learning about Horse Cave and Hart County, which is one of Kentucky’s most-storied communities. A town built on top of a cave – how’s that for a starter?
About the Project
Horse Cave’s award-winning cell phone tour interactively shares the story of a town that both locals and tourists love. From tobacco farming, to the infamous cave wars, the Kentucky Repertory Theatre, to historic feuds — there’s a story that will strike the interest of all.
A project of this scope doesn’t just happen – it was made possible by many individuals and entities. The mayor, tourism director, and the Horse Cave Development Corporation played an integral part in planning, organizing, and executing this project. The National Park Service’s Preserve America Program, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Kentucky Arts Council, and The Kentucky Humanities Council funded the project. The Kentucky Oral History Commission, the Kentucky Historical Society, the City of Horse Cave, and many others have assisted in providing ideas, photos and conducting and archiving oral histories.
Horse Cave Stories Cell Phone Tour FAQ
How many stops are there on the tour?
There are 20 stops that all boast very different, yet interesting, stories and history.
How long does the tour take to complete?
You can walk between the stops/read the stories in roughly 30 minutes. They are all conveniently located to one another.
How does the tour work?
Visitors go from sign to sign and learn about Hart County history for the stories. However, what’s innovative is that each sign is equipped with a QR code that takes you straight to the website to learn more about each story.
Where should one start the tour?
Above-Ground + Below-Ground Tour
The tour is divided in half: 10 of the stops are a part of the “above-ground tour” and 10 of the stops are a part of the “below-ground tour”. The above-ground tour tells the story of Horse Cave above-ground – or, said differently, above the cave. The below-ground tour details the story of Hidden River Cave, which is magnificently seen just off of Main Street.
John Muir, when visiting Hidden River Cave, said: “The entrance (to Horse Cave) seems like a noble gateway to the birthplace of springs and fountains and the dark treasuries of the mineral kingdom. This cave is in a village (of the same name) which it supplies with an abundance of cold water, and cold air that issues from its fern-clad lips. In hot weather crowds of people sit about it in the shade of the trees that guard it. This magnificent fan is capable of cooling everybody in the town at once.” – A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf
While enjoying the Horse Cave Stories Cell Phone Tour, do experience Hidden River Cave; the shops of Downtown Horse Cave; the local restaurants; and the always-present southern hospitality.
About Hart County
Hart County, located in South Central Kentucky, lies predominately within the central portion of the Pennyroyal region of the state. Nolin River forms the western boundary of the county and the Green River winds through the center. Hart County contains five of Kentucky’s ten largest springs, including Gorin Mill Spring, the largest in the state. Further, they are home to world-famous Hidden River Cave, part of Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky Down Under, and an award-winning trail system.
Kentucky first, forever, and always.