Local Spotlight: Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge

Local Spotlight: Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge

During the Halloween season, we see bats everywhere. On decorations, as cookies, in the movies—this month is their time to shine. Well, you may also be able to observe them—safely, and from a distance—in person at the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge.

What is the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge?

You may know the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge by a different name: Blowing Wind Cave National Wildlife Refuge. It used to go by that title for years, starting with the refuge’s founding in 1979, until its name changed in 1999. Before that, this spot had a batty history, even acting as fallout shelter and a nightclub at different points in the 20th century.

Now, though, its main claim to fame is its bats—200,000 to 400,000 of them in fact. Inside the cave, Indiana bats and grey bats have made a safe home. These endangered critters also have the backing of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Hopefully, the refuge will help its bats thrive for years to come. Plus, their presence provides natural pest control, so we’re all benefiting from their assistance!

What can I do at the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge?

If you’re still on the fence about visiting the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge, it may help to know what you can do when you visit. Some of the activities and sights include:

  • Potentially seeing bats, depending on the season;
  • Finding the Price’s potato-bean, which is a threatened tuber-growing vine;
  • Hiking or walking;
  • Getting fresh air; and
  • Going small game hunting, provided you have the proper permit.

Visiting Details

Ready to fly on over to the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge? It spans 264 acres, but you can find an entrance located on the south of U.S. Highway 72. Keep your eyes peeled! The refuge is open from dawn to dusk.

Safety Reminders

If you see any bats at the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge, remember to give them space! You shouldn’t disturb them—but you can always take photos or videos from a safe distance. You can bring a flashlight and a raincoat or hat as well. Visitors are not allowed to go inside the cave.

Additionally, please comply with all posted signage, state laws, and employee directions. That also includes wearing a mask and practicing the proper social distancing! Thank you for being considerate and conscientious.

Summary

Some people think bats are just creepy creatures, but they actually make sure our planet can maintain a healthy ecosystem. And besides, any critter that eats up pesky mosquitoes is a friend in our books! If you want to enjoy a fun fall hike—and maybe see a bat—visit the Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge this season.

The Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge is home to bats–and Willow Creek could be the place you call home. See our floor plans and application info here. You can also read up on our local spotlights here.