Beneath the forest of the Ozark Highlands of north Arkansas lies a unique, delicate, and fascinating ecosystem. Over thousands of years, the limestone bedrock in this part of the state has been dissolved by groundwater to create a karst environment full of sinkholes, disappearing streams, and incredible caves.
Of the nearly 2,000 documented caves in the Natural State, seven are privately-owned, commercial tour caves open to the public while the US Forest Service operates Blanchard Springs Caverns, the crown jewel of them all. Some of the smaller show caves contain decorative, living cave formations, while others have fewer formations. The latter often have great stories associated with them, such as being hideouts for outlaws or sites of unfound, hidden treasure.