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Bat Cave 

Mia D'Agostino 

Bat Cave is an unincorporated community along Highway 64, just fifteen miles outside Asheville, near Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village. Less than 4 miles away from Bat Cave is Hickory Nut Gorge, a fourteen-mile-long canyon within the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Gorge offers excellent fishing, hiking, and boating, with a number of restaurants, shops, and lodging options in surrounding towns. 

 

Hickory Nut Gap Farm, located in Fairview, is halfway between Bat Cave and Asheville on Highway 64. The farm has become a major supplier of grass-fed beef, pork, and chicken, in the greater Asheville area. Visitors can tour the farm or enjoy a true farm-to-table meal at the farm, with options such as salads with organic vegetables or burgers made with farm-raised beef. Visitors can also purchase steaks, sausage, bacon, and more at the farm’s local gift shop. Before Covid-19, the farm would hold weekly barn dances every Friday night with a live band.

 

The Bat Cave Old Cider Mill is located a few miles down the road, where travelers can sample the homemade apple cider made and sold at the Mill. The Mill gets their apples from neighboring Hendersonville, so the cider is always freshly pressed. The Mill doesn’t stop at cider however, they offer an assortment of jams, jellies, relishes, honey, and syrups, all from local shops. Stop in the gift shop for anything from a set of windchimes to vintage rings

 

Relax and enjoy a beer while overlooking the Rocky Broad River on the patio at Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery. The Brewery is owned by Lake Lure Locals Marc and Merri Fretwell. Their mission statement is to “establish a brewery to gather in celebration of life, family, and friendship.” Beers are brewed onsite, and the brewery offers a range of IPAs, ales, and stouts. Normally, the Brewery has live music every Friday, and trivia night each Wednesday, although Covid-19 has put a stop to these events. 

 

Bat Cave is an ideal location for those searching for respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Surrounded by undisturbed forests, visitors have numerous ways to reconnect with nature in and around Bat Cave. Whether you prefer to relax by taking a hike and fishing or drinking a beer with some live music, Bat Cave has it all.

About the Cave 

Sarah Sandak

The town of Bat Cave, North Carolina is expertly named after the actual bat cave located in the town. Although the cave is not open to the public, it is a very interesting and fascinating place. This is due to the bats that have found a home in the cave and visitors will likely disturb their fragile ecosystem. The cave is home to various species of bats including the endangered and rare Indiana bat. It is known as the largest augen gneiss granite fissure cave and is over a mile long in distance. The entrance hallway is 300 feet long and 85 feet high. Interestingly enough, the bat cave holds many legends, the most famous dating all the way back to the American Revolution. The legend claims that some English prospectors were mining gold near Chimney Rock and planned to transport it by wagon to the port in Charleston, South Carolina, and then shipped it back to England. On their journey, they encountered a party of Cherokee Indians. When

trying to get away from the Cherokees, the prospectors stumbled into the bat cave and hid the gold in the cave. None of the prospectors made it back to retrieve the gold and no one has ever discovered it.

Bat Caves Main Character: The Indiana Bat

Olivia Grady

Bat Cave, North Carolina is an unincorporated town in Henderson County, North Carolina. It is a staple of the Foothills region and is home to the endangered Indiana bat. It remains endangered on both the state and federal levels. Since 2010, the species has decreased by

27%. However, it is just one of seventeen different species within the cave.

 

Like many other endangered species, the Indiana bat was placed on an endangered list due to human disturbances in the 1960s. Bat Cave is the largest granite fissure known in North America, so the notion that humans were causing disruptions (likely through tour groups and light entrances) is unfortunately not surprising in today's society.

 

The official name for the Indiana bat is the Myotis Sodalis bat. It weighs only one-fourth of an ounce and is roughly two inches long. While their typical age range is usually five to ten years, many have lived to reach fourteen years of age.

 

One unique way to differentiate Indiana bats from other bats is to examine the size of their feet and the length of their toe hairs (yes, you read that correctly). While that may sound odd, or perhaps hyper-specific, it is a distinctive trait of Indiana bats.

 

Ensuring the preservation of Indiana bats is pivotal for our ecosystem. They help to eat night-flying insects, including crop pests. Continuing our efforts to educate the general public on their benefits to biomes will alleviate any misunderstanding of their importance.

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