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Usage Policy

Water Sinks Karst Preserve

The Preserve

The Water Sinks Karst Preserve contains a number of interesting caves, unique geology, and scenic walking trails. The caves include Owl Cave (formerly Siphon 1 and Siphon 2), Water Sinks Cave, The Subway, and Helictite Cave. The BCCS is assisting the landowners by managing the permit, waiver, and access process. The trails, terrain, and caves vary in difficulty, so do not progress beyond your level of skill and comfort.

All visitors to the Water Sinks Karst Preserve require a permit and a waiver signed in advance. Get your group permit and sign your individual waiver before you visit. Permits and waivers are two different things. You need both. Generally a group of people on a trip need one permit for the trip, and the trip leader applies for the group permit online. Each individual needs to complete their own waiver online. The permit and waiver process happens in advance via email and the internet. Cell and internet access is extremely limited or non-existent in the area, so complete the process before your visit.

Please help us maintain access for everyone by respecting the property and cleaning up after yourselves.


Trip leaders: Apply for a permit before your trip here.

Every trip to the preserve, including underground caving trips and above ground walking, requires a new permit. The permit needs to list every person in the group visiting the preserve.

Surface, Owl Cave, and Water Sinks Cave permits are available instantly after applying for a permit and all waivers are signed in our system. Please submit Helictite and Subway permit requests at least two weeks before the requested date to allow for processing time.


Every person, including children, visiting the preserve needs to have a signed waiver in our system. Sign waivers at least one week before your trip here.

Summary of Preserve Rules

Management Plan

Here is the preserve management plan with detailed information about preserve visition policies: Water Sinks Management Plan 20240119.pdf

Special Use Authorization

Any cave or surface modification projects (including digging, bolting and drilling) require a Special Use Authorization. Persons proposing a modification project need to submit a plan to the managers detailing how they plan to modify the site and remediate their impacts. The Water Sinks management team must get approval from the property owners before any proposed cave or surface modification project may be approved.

Special Use Authorization is also required for any diving in any of the caves. All dive trips must be approved by the Water Sinks management team in advance. All cave divers must have a cave diver certification issued by a recognized certification agency.

Contact us for more information