Jan 6, 2013 3:06 PM
CARTER CAVES, Ky. (AP) - Explorers who attend this year's Winter Adventure Weekend at Carter Caves will be allowed limited access to the caverns at the state park.
The Independent (http://bit.ly/Un8Yns) reports it will be the first time in four years that participants in the annual event at the end of January will be able to crawl around underground.
"We're still kind of limited, but people will be able to get in there and they will be able to do a little bit of crawling. They will be able to get wet and dirty," said Sam Plummer, one of the event's organizers.
Originally called "Crawlathon," the event was canceled in 2009 after a recommendation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency said allowing people inside the caverns could threaten bat populations due to white nose syndrome, a fungus that has spread across North America killing millions of the animals.
During the event, cave lovers were allowed nearly unlimited access to passages that weren't included in tours.
Because the event was so popular, it was reborn the next year as Winter Adventure Weekend, which included several activities, but no caving.
Plummer said this year offers plenty of activities, including caving.
"We have tried to come up with all kinds of things people would be interested in," Plummer said.
The list of activates includes "wild caving, cave tours, shooting, high-line ride, rappelling, rope climbing, rock climbing, tree climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, camping in a cave, adventure presentations, archaeology tours, squeeze box, winter survival, fire building, campfire cooking, land navigation, corrugated cave, mine lighting," and live music.
The activities begin on Jan. 25 and go through Jan. 27. Participants can select from a slate of activities that are geared for beginners and advanced winter adventurers.
More information is available at the website www.winteradventureweekend.com .
Information from: The Independent, http://www.dailyindependent.com
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)