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Wild cave trip to Wilkson Hollow Horror Hole - near Franklin-Marion forest

  • May 11, 2013 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Caving Trip for Advanced
Wilkson Hollow Horror Hole is a wet weather stream cave with 11,927' of passage and 512' of vertical component. The entrance is behind a waterfall which cascades down over large breakdown into a very large passage. We will enter along the edge of this breakdown by climbing down (chimneying) between the rocks. The main goal for this cave is to visit the large room in the back. It is 500' x 100' with a 30 to 85' ceiling. You will have to climb down a 15' ledge to get into the large room. Along the way to the ledge room is a walking or stooping passage over breakdown. There are several long passages connecting here and there. I have not explored the long passages.

This cave is located in Franklin County, TN about 5 miles SW of the Franklin-Marion State Forest. It is on private property and the land owner will permit us to visit this cave.

MEETUP TIME: @ 1st CARPOOL LOCATION 8:00am (CT): Target parking lot, Antioch, off I-24 Exit #59 Bell Road.
MEETUP TIME: @ 2nd CARPOOL LOCATION 8:30am (CT): Cracker Barrel parking lot, Murfreesboro, off I-24 Exit #81B.
HIKE DISTANCE: Our plan is to stay together while we explore this cave.
DIFFICULTY RATING: Complex. This is NOT a walking tour. And there is NO paid tour guide. This is a complex cave where you will be climbing, stooping, walking upright, crawling, walking in water, etc. The hike to the cave is up an old, steep logging road with a 450' elevation gain.
DRIVE TIME: 77 MIN one way from the Murfreesboro carpool.
ACTIVITY TIME: Approximately 5-6 hours inside the cave, depending on the size of our group turnout and how we break up into smaller groups to explore.

STOP. Before signing up for this event, it is highly recommended that you read this entire page for your own safety and for the safety of others in the group.

This is not a beginner cave. To go on this trip, you must have previously been on 2 other cave trips with this group. There is a steep hike up to the cave and climbing down into the entrance is challenging. Moving through the central trunk of the cave requires climbing over large slabs of breakdown with 10'+ dropoffs. Accessing the big room and climbing down the ledge requires arm strength to haul your body down (and back up) over the ledge. A safety handline will be connected at this ledge. You must be in good physical health. Exploring the extension passages will require prone crawling through spaces 1' high.


The entrance


Just below the entrance - Tight squeeze crack through the rocks.


Below the entrance cascade, in the stream.


The ledge climb. Big drop behind me. Don't want to fall here.


Some pretty cave formations (draperies) in the center of the big room.


Map of the cave.


Vertical profile

Required Items:

  • Caving or Climbing Helmet (See Notes below for more info on helmets)
  • Three sources of light (including your headlamp)
  • Extra batteries for your main lights
  • Hiking boots with aggressive tread---NO tennis shoes.
  • Gloves and soft knee pads. Rubber or nitrile dipped gardening gloves work well. Volleyball kneepads work well. Kneepads that have a cloth or canvas surface work best, not a hard plastic surface.  Other pads for shins and elbows recommended.
  • Small backpack, daypack, or "fanny" pack to carry water, snacks, batteries, etc.
  • A nylon jacket (shell, windbreaker) to put on if you get cold.
  • Water, snacks, small lunch.
  • Trash bags to pack your dirty post-cave clothing.
  • A towel to sit on for the ride home.
  • A FUN attitude!!!

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Please offer your carpool driver gas money.
My estimation is that we will emerge from the cave approximately 4:00pm (CDT).
Please RSVP with integrity. If you've signed up, then find you cannot attend, please change your RSVP to "No, Can't Go".  Due to limited space, there are no Guests permitted. Guests should join this meetup group, then sign up for the trip.

NOTES OF HELMETS: If you do not have one, you can inquire with other members if they have one you can borrow or rent.  There are no rentals and no free helmets available at the cave site. Appropriate helmets can be purchased at REI in Brentwood or online, or you can check out our Sponsor, Out 'N About Outfitters in Murfreesboro to get 20% off of your new helmet from their catalog. $40 to $50 is a small investment to make to protect your head. You can also use this helmet on our outdoor rock climbing and rappelling events.

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  • Keith W.

    Great photos, Troy.

    May 13, 2013

  • Troy

    I enjoyed caving with everyone this weekend. You are all such awesome cavers. I was ashamed that you all had to wait on me after hiking up the hill. You are all in great condition.

    May 13, 2013

  • Keith W.

    Great adventure! Thank youTroy!

    May 12, 2013

  • Tammy

    Great cave and thanks Troy and for the extended cave tour and awesome pit drops! Beautiful formations and waterfall; well worth rappelling/ascending in and out of water. I'd do it again in a second!

    May 12, 2013

  • Patrick

    Thank you Troy for organizing. Great cave! Great trip! Now...a slightly grated body. Ha ha ha. This cave holds physical challenge, fine formations, and far-reaching canyon extensions. And a reminder to my group...Jenifer, Keith and Sheryl---you cavers rock!

    1 · May 12, 2013

  • Patrick

    Woo Hoo!!!! This is gonna be fun! I'm already hungry thinking about where to eat after the cave trip. :)

    May 10, 2013

  • Patrick

    I will be at the Antioch and M'boro carpool to help organize the carpools.

    May 8, 2013

  • Anne

    Won't be able to make it. Y'all have fun!

    May 7, 2013

  • Karen

    Not ready for this one! Have fun and don't get stuck.

    May 7, 2013

  • Troy

    If we get a quantity of rain just before this trip, you may want to consider bringing a rain suit or at least a poncho. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-AbJ_z2Xk0 :)

    2 · April 29, 2013

    • Patrick

      No problem...just like shooting womp rats in my T-16 back home.

      May 4, 2013

    • david w.

      Luke I am your father!!!

      May 4, 2013

  • Heather J.

    Ugh. South Carolina is too far!!!!

    April 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Who's choice was that??? :-(

      1 · April 26, 2013

    • david w.

      Road trip!!!

      1 · April 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    AARRGGHH...can't go. I would love to do this!

    April 26, 2013

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