Guides Welcome Back Visitors to Maribel Caves - WBAY

Guides Welcome Back Visitors to Maribel Caves

Maribel -

The Maribel Caves Park is back open.

It took nearly a year's worth of work after a tornado wiped out 70 percent of the park's 75 acres.

"Oh this is enormous. The gentleman I came in with today, the other cave guide, he was almost in tears this morning. He says I've been waiting for this for ten months, as he opened the gates this morning," said cave guide Kasey Fiske. 

Volunteers like Kasey Fiske removed branches and down trees that blocked access to trails and the park's caves.

"We got in here the first day and it was like where do you start? Well you just start basically and every little bit helps," said Fiske.  

This clean up effort has opened the trails back up and access to caves to explore.

"It is neat to see you know? Because you see it on the news and to see it upfront and go, wow," said Jim Penokie. 

Visitors say they've been waiting for an opportunity to get into the park.

"Just being able to see the different natural formations in there it was really kind of cool," said Amy Penokie.  

Cave tours are scheduled once a month through October. Tour guides say they're thankful to be to working in the caves and sharing them with visitors because there was a time when the future of Maribel caves park was uncertain.

"It's amazing to see people walking down the trail again. We haven't been able to be in the cave. We actually lost because of the tornado last year. We had three tours last year we couldn't do and one in May that we couldn't do," said Fiske.  

Volunteers at the park say last August's tornado left behind opportunity.

"We've got a lot of work to do to get it to the pristine park it once was, but we're working on it and we're getting there. The big thing is we've got our cave tours going again. The effort we put in is playing off because we have people coming back. Which is very exciting," said Fiske.

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