Mystery Gasoline Vapors Force Closing of Tours and Boat Rides Inside Lost River Cave

May 10, 2019

Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky
Credit Lost River Cave

The odor of gasoline from an unknown source has closed down cave tours and boat rides at Lost River Cave in Bowling Green. The popular tourist attraction has an additional challenge – rain.

The odor of gasoline first showed up at Lost River Cave at the end of March.  The odor became consistent, so walking and boat tours inside the cave were suspended on April 7.

Annie Holt is director of the Nature Education Center at Lost River Cave. She said meters have shown the vapors have been at zero for several days.


"We have talked with some of the officials that are working on the investigation. Everybody seems to feel like we are in a very good position to actually open the tours back up inside the cave," said Holt. "Unfortunately though, with the rain in the forecast we are expecting flooding conditions.”

Holt said when the rain ends and the meters confirm that the gasoline vapors are gone, cave and boat tours will resume, and that could be as soon as Sunday or Monday.

Meanwhile outdoor activities are continuing, including nature hikes, the zip line and educational programs.

Holt said investigators have inspected nearby gas stations for a leak, but so far are still working to determine the cause of the fumes.