Powder Mill Cave
Formation in Powder Mill Cave Natural Area
Points of Interest:
- Enjoy the sound of the spring branch emanating from the cave.
- Gaze into the entrance of the cave and think of dire wolves using this cave 20,000 years ago.
Natural Features Description: Powder Mill cave and spring branch are a highly significant cave system for its biological, geological and paleontological resources. The cave provides winter hibernation habitat for the endangered Indiana bat. The grotto salamander found within is a species of conservation concern and a troglobite – a species restricted to life in caves. Nearly nine miles of cave passage have been mapped for this cave and these waters support a number of cave adapted invertebrates. Pleistocene period animal bones have been found in the cave by scientists, including the extinct dire wolf (Canis dirus) and Jefferson’s ground sloth (Megalonyx jeffersonii).
This natural area is within Rocky Creek Conservation Area. The cave is closed to public access because of its ecological fragility and to protect the endangered bats. However, the public can walk up to the cave entrance and enjoy the spring coming from the cave. From Eminence travel west on Highway 106 travel 14 miles west (crossing the Current River) to the entrance to the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Powder Mill campground. Continue on 106 past the campground entrance another quarter mile and turn off to the left (north) onto a pull off. Park here and follow the path to the cave entrance going downstream along the creek.