The Cave

The cave on Hibriten Mountain is naturally-formed cave that is accessible by humans, and located on the popular north side of the mountain.

Legend has it that Confederate soldiers used the cave as a hiding place from the Yankees during the Civil War.

Prior to the Civil war, it was said local Indian Tribes used the cave for shelter while hunting on the mountain.

The video at the bottom of this page was shot by some cave enthusiasts, who were brave enough to test the cave with a camera.

If you decide to go find and explore the cave, do not go alone. Take every and all safety precautions. Have your wits about you: other wildlife just might be lurking there.

And do not litter or spray graffiti. This area belongs to every one.

A word of Precaution to ALL EXPLORERS – from the owner.

Dr Patrick McMillan, DDS, emailed me late one Saturday Night (6/24/2017) and recanted this awesome experience with a message of conclusion: PLEASE BE CAREFUL EXPLORING THIS CAVE. This email is shared with permission.

Email from Dr. Patrick McMillan, DDS

Date: Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Reflection upon childhood memories led me to your web site.

First, a confession; the date carved into the cave rock mentioned in the You Tube video [ed. note: 4:07 mark] was my “handiwork” done many, many, many years ago with a hammer and chisel I found in my father’s toolbox. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I am 67 years old now but as a young boy I spent a great deal of time crawling all over Hibriten and in the cave. To my knowledge, I am one of only three people to explore the cave to its terminus approximately 120 ft inside the mountain. Two rooms are mentioned in the video; there is a third extending from the second.

After discovering the third room on a previous trip a friend and I decided to see just how far we could go and measured the distance with kite string which we secured at the entrance and unwound as we went deeper. The third person explored the cave sometime prior and is unknown but, near the terminus, they dropped a Case pocket knife which I found and still have. Research of the Case web site indicates the knife was of a style manufactured between 1940 and 1964. I cannot remember the exact year I found the knife but I know it was prior to 1962, for by then I was no longer small enough to squeeze through the opening from the second room into the third room of the cave which was located a bit over half way to the terminus as I recall. The third room was much smaller than the first two, measuring approximately 4 by 6 by 3 feet according to my memory and it gave access to a vertical drop of about 5 feet but with adequate hand and footholds and sufficient width (at least for a 10 year old) to allow access to and escape from the final tunnel which led basically horizontally and, I always felt, essentially parallel to the north face of the mountain. I remember the final tunnel as being quite tight, requiring belly crawl in and out.

One memory remains crystal clear and that is when my flashlight beam hit a large rock in the ceiling near the terminus and I exclaimed to my friend, “We’re rich!” The rock was chock full of inclusions of what, disappointingly, later turned out to be fool’s gold. In fact, I used the knife I had just found to flake off samples. It was quite some time later when it occurred to me that it was likely a similar action which led to the knife being out of its original owner’s pocket.

To this day, every time I see the mountain I wonder how the cave came to be. The cave seems to be a happenstance pathway through a collection of boulders but how did a collection of loose boulders form inside a mountain? From my boyhood home in Lower Creek the most direct path up Hibriten was straight up the north face. I remember a boulder field at the base of the mountain below the cave and numerous examples of fractured and displaced quartz veins on rock outcrops all across the north face. It has always seemed to me that a possible origin of the cave lies in an ancient earthquake which resulted in the north face of the mountain shearing off and that the cave was formed by a group of boulders that simply slid only part way down. I would love input from a geologist.

One final thought which I regret expressing. I heard rumors years ago that the cave had been blasted shut; frankly I think it should be. No one much larger than a 10 year old can access the third room and beyond. Although at least three already have, someday a kid will come along who will be just as adventurous and just as foolish but who will be less lucky. If a child gets stuck deep in that cave adults are simply too large to get them out if they even know the child is in there. My parents didn’t. Patrick McMillan DDS