Blythe Ferry Cave
This past weekend (Feb. 24 & 25) I went with the Oeser family (Ken, Annette, Alexandra, and Braxton) to Blythe Ferry near Dayton Tenn. Gerald and Avis Moni and my daughter Lauren were also along. We wanted to visit and survey several small caves in the area as well as see the sandhill cranes at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. On Saturday we spent some time in the refuge area and then visited Ward Cave in McMinn county. Ward is a spring cave and you have to get your feet wet in the entrance passage before going into a nice large room. Unfortunately the locals are not treating this cave well: there is quite a lot of trash in the big room and a camp fire ring. On Sunday we went to 2 caves: Blythe Ferry in Meigs county and Marler in Rhea county. Blythe Ferry has a large entrance passage that ends after about 300 feet, and a network of interconnected passages off to one side. Gray bats use this cave in the summer and there is a TVA sign near the entrance forbidding entry from March through October. Marler Cave was the shortest cave at only about 300 feet total, but it is nice. After stooping in there is an entrance room about a hundred feet long, then a short stoopway, and then another long room with some nice flowstone and ending in a high dome with dripping water. On the other side of the dome a crawlway moves a little air - I dug it open only to be stopped by an even smaller crawlway 10 feet further in. I've attached a bunch of photos from Blythe Ferry, a group shot at the entrance of Marler, and a photo of Lauren with a nice scenic view in the background, taken at the parking spot for Marler. We had nice weather and a great time.