After 49 years of welcoming visitors from all around the world, Sequoyah Caverns and Ellis Homestead will close its doors September 3rd of this year (2013). Known for its “looking glass lakes” Sequoyah Caverns is located in Wills Valley at the foot of Sand Mountain in northeast Alabama and has attracted thousands of families, school groups, and travelers over the years.
“This summer will be the last chance to see the beautiful “looking glass lakes” of Sequoyah Caverns. We would like to thank everyone for your patronage throughout the years, and we hope to see you this summer,” said owner John Jones. The cave and property has been in the Jones’ family since 1841.
Unlike other caves, Sequoyah Caverns is full of “looking glass lakes”, which reflect the thousands of intricate rock formations and nature’s magnificent underground creations. Along with the reflection pools, the Caverns also feature towering stalagmites, waterfalls, and writings on the walls dating back to the early 1800s. The attraction was named Attraction of the Year in 2006 by the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. In 2010, it was rated the #1 thing to do in Alabama by TripAdvisor.com and was inducted into the North Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame. Approximately 12,000 people visit the attraction each year.
A trip to Sequoyah Caverns and Ellis Homestead is more than just a visit to a cave. Along with exploring the caverns, the grounds also contain a picnic pavilion and a farm animal corral, as well as offer fishing and hiking the pristine Lookout Point Trail to a view of the beautiful valley below. Other activities include mining for multicolored gems as cool mountain water flows down a hand-made wooden trough and watching farm animals such as oxen, sheep, goats, and horses, milling around the property. A gift shop is also located on the grounds where a variety of souvenirs, handcrafted items, and light concessions can be found.
James Ellis and his family moved to this homestead in 1841 and, over the years, acquired and cultivated hundreds of acres of woodlands. Today, the direct descendents of James Ellis still live here and welcome visitors to the 58 beautiful acres set aside for all to enjoy.
The Cavern is named for Chief Sequoyah, creator of the Cherokee alphabet, who taught his writing system in the Willstown community during the movement of the Cherokee Nation to Oklahoma. A historical marker in his recognition stands in Valley Head, only a few miles from the Caverns.
Sequoyah Caverns and Ellis Homestead is located off I-59 north of Valley Head and is open Monday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with guided tours available daily. Admission is $15.95 per adult, $8.95 per child, and free for children three years and under. Group Tours and Wild Cave Adventures are also available.