Neversink Preserve


Photo by JV Van Swearingen IV

About Neversink

Neversink is a beautiful 162 foot open air pit in Jackson County Alabama. The bottom can only be reached using vertical caving skills, knowledge, and equipment to safely descend into its depths by  rappelling a rope and ascending that same rope with specialty equipment to exit the cave. The bottom of  Neversink is approximately 162 feet from the edge. The best way to obtain the skills needed for vertical caving is  to join a local caving club or grotto of the National Speleological Society and receive hands-on training from its  members. 

If you do not possess the vertical caving skills or ability needed to visit the bottom, Neversink is still an  impressive and unique place to visit. Some say the long hike up the mountain is strenuous and one should be  prepared with an adequate quantity of drinking water and some snacks.


Cellular telephone coverage is poor in  the area so don’t count on being able to call for help from the area of the pit.

Please do not endanger your life or the lives of rescuers by attempting anything beyond your known skills and abilities.
The Southeastern Cave Conservancy’s Neversink Preserve does not currently require a permit for members and their guests. We encourage non-members to join or make a donation so SCCi can continue to acquire and preserve caves across the southeast. SCCi does not charge fees for visiting preserves.

History of Neversink

Long known and loved by  caver explorers, the cave is considered by many to be the classic pit. It is probably the most photographed pit in TAG (Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia) due to the beautiful fern covered ledges (including some rare and endangered ferns), waterfalls, and other features. The pit is about 40 feet in diameter at the top and bells out to 100 feet in diameter at the bottom. It has been featured in countless slide shows and has been pictured in many publications.

The pit was closed in 1993 due to a change of ownership. The new owner was concerned about liability and about disturbance of the water pipe from the spring above the pit. The spring is the only reliable water supply for a home at the bottom of the mountain.

The SCCi was already in negotiations to buy the pit when it was sold in 1993 to another buyer who bypassed the real estate agent. We then made contact with the new owner and entered into negotiations to buy the pit from him. After much work, an agreement was reached. We began raising money to pay for the cave. At the eleventh hour the owner had second thoughts and decided to sell the land to the person using the spring. We then made contact with that person, and were eventually able to reach a agreement to buy the cave from him in return for a guarantee of a water rights easement for the spring.

In July 1995 the Southeastern Cave Conservancy signed a contract with the owner to purchase the pit. Following a survey of the property and some arrangements regarding parking and walking access, the SCCi completed the purchase and took ownership on December 5, 1995. Total cost of the purchase was a little over $51,000. The SCCi raised most of the money and secured a loan sufficient to complete the deal. At the 1995 TAG Fall Cave In the SCCi kicked off a major new fund raising program for the Neversink Purchase called “Buy a Piece of the Pit”. The plan allowed cavers to make a contribution to the SCCi Neversink Fund and receive a complimentary Neversink T-Shirt with a map of the cave and the words “I Bought A Piece of the Pit” plus an honorary certificate of ownership, suitable for framing, which identifies your particular plot on the property. The fund raising program was a major success and retired the debt in one year. The purchase was the first major cave the SCCi acquired and was the first step on its way to becoming a leader in cave conservation.

Important Information Before Visiting Neversink

Please do not use trees to rig ropes at the edge of Neversink. This activity is killing the trees. Instead, two permanent rig areas have been established. Each rigging area has two bolts. If the two rig areas are in use, the next party must wait until one of the rig areas is not in use, or return to the cave later. If you have any questions or comments, contact the Preserve Management Team or the Stewardship Chair.

NOTICE: To help prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome (WNS) affecting bat populations, please read the SCCi Cave Visitation Policy and follow the guidelines to clean and disinfect your gear before and after visiting this cave.

Preserve Information:

Acreage: 32.87 acres in Jackson County, Alabama
Property Manager: Jim Hall and Darien Dopp (
Access: Open. 12 person group size limit. 6 vehicles maximum in parking area. Do not park on the road. See the management plan for details.