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Glory Hole Caverns

Location: Glory Hole Caverns is located in northern Grady County, Georgia about a half mile south of the Grady County-Mitchell County line. The entrance is set in a small sinkhole in the middle of a field alongside Hawthorne Trail (Ga. Hwy. 112) about 10 miles north of Cairo, the county seat of Grady County and about 9 miles southwest of Pelham, Ga. The cave is just east of Mizpah Baptist Church, located on a side road just south of the county line.

Description: Glory Hole Caverns is one of the most beautiful caves in the South. Although its size does not compare with many of the giants, it is still a fairly sizeable cave for the Coastal Plains. The entrance today is definitely not one for the tourists! It is located in a small sinkhole in the midst of a cultivated field. A few trees remain in the sink and at its bottom lies a very small gated entrance. Soil and rotted leaves, logs, etc. overlie a mass of limestone rocks of various size. To enter now, one must go in feet first and literally "feel your way" down through the tiny shaft that constantly shifts.

The first room's floor level has been raised because of the constant erosion of sand and mud into the cave through the entrance. In some areas, the dirt reaches all the way to the ceiling. It is a tight crawl to get into some areas because of the soil level.

But the crawls are well worth it. Some rooms are full of beautiful helictites ("cave flowers"), stalactites dripping from the ceilings and stalagmites building from the floors. One amazing room has a floor covered with calcite formations in shallow pools of water. A lifetime could be spent studying the formations in this room alone.

Geology: The cavern is located in limestone dated to the edge of the Oligocene and Miocene epochs, or about 7 million to 16 million years old. This is among the "youngest" land mass in the United States and as a result, the limestone is much softer and far more porous than that outside the Coastal Plains. The rock throughout the cave is full of fossilized ancient sea life.

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