Heart of Louisiana: Forest Cave

Heart of Louisiana: Forest Cave

(WVUE) - For a state that has more wetlands, farmland and pastures than hills, finding a cave in the woods of Louisiana is a rarity.  But not impossible.  Dave McNamara takes us to Wolf Rock cave in the Heart of Louisiana.

If you follow the signs through the Kisatchie National Forest, you'll find Wolf Rock cave tucked away in the wooded hills of West Louisiana near Leesville. You walk a short trail above a creek to the entrance of a small cave.

"It was formed by water running down through the sandstone and cutting a hole through the rock," said archeologist Scott Farris. "We are not exactly sure how old it is."

Faris works at the nearby army base at Fort Polk. He said there is evidence that Native Americans spent time on this site up to 4,000 years ago.

"They didn't live here full-time," Faris said. "They were coming up here to exploit, what we think, the stone resources."

The ground is rich in stones that would have been chipped and shaped into tools and projectile points

"The first one, the big one, is a Delhi point, and that's from about 2,500 years ago or so, maybe 3,500. And the other one is an Alba, the little one, and that's from about maybe 1,500 years ago," Faris said.

There is no evidence that ancient people lived in the cave, only that they spent time around the site.  You can crawl inside, maybe get 20 to 30 feet deep, and explore. But it is a tight fit.

"It cuts back to the left," said Blake Watkins with the U.S. Forest Service. "It's no more than 3-foot-tall ceilings, and it gets smaller, kind of a little bit more narrower, but yeah, you'll kind of have to get on your hands and knees and kind of just snake your way through there. And you can't really turn around once you get back in there a little ways, you got to back crawl out."

And if you venture inside the cave during the winter, you might not be alone.

"I've seen rattlesnakes and huge just hanging from the ceiling," Watkins said.

The cave is a curiosity for families, who don't normally see this in their home state.

"This is the only one I know of exactly like this, two overhangs, so we want them to come out and enjoy it, but of course leave it as you found it.  And don't disturb anything," said John Meyer with the U.S. Forest Service.

It's a picturesque site, and you can try to imagine what it was like here thousands of years ago to sit under the cave's sandstone awnings, high above this small creek, relying on nature for survival.

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