Neversink Preserve

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.

Important Information Before Visiting Neversink

  • 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. 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.
  • Please do not use trees to rig ropes at the edge of Neversink. This activity is killing the trees. Use the two permanent rig areas that 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.

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.

SCCi was already in negotiations to buy the pit when it was sold in 1993 to another buyer who bypassed the real estate agent. The, SCCi made contact with the new owner and entered into negotiations to buy the pit from him. After much work, an agreement was reached. SCCi 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. SCCi then made contact with that particular person, and was 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 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, SCCi completed the purchase and took ownership on December 5, 1995. Total cost of the purchase was a little over $51,000.

Preserve Information

Acreage: 32.87 acres in Jackson County, Alabama

Preserve Management Team: Jim Hall and Darien Dopp (neversink@scci.org)

Access:  To request a permit, visit http://permits.scci.org