Secret Cave Formations 📷 Chuck Sutherland
Secret Cave Formations 📷 Chuck Sutherland

Albert & Ethel Ogden Nature Preserve


Putnam County, Tennessee
967 Feet

Located in Cookeville, Tennessee, is Secret Cave a small and well decorated cave. The cave must be accessed by way of a 34 foot rappel into its main room, but at the bottom the passages become almost entirely covered in exceptional displays of flowstone-covered walls, draperies and rimstone. Descending a second 60′ pit, leads the visitor to another small, formation filled room. The cave was surveyed to a total length of 967 feet and a vertical extent of 139 feet.

Purchased from NSS members Albert and Ethel Ogden, the unspoiled nature of the cave is a wonderful reflection of their desire to preserve Secret Cave and ensure its conservation. Albert and Ethel sold the cave to the NSS in hopes that others would understand and appreciate the cave’s beauty while ensuring perpetual access and protection. Visitors to the Albert and Ethel Ogden Preserve are welcome to explore what some people describe as the most beautiful cave in the State of Tennessee.

Secret Cave was purchased by Tennessee Tech and MTSU geology professor, Albert E. Ogden in 1988, not long after Upper Cumberland Grotto members first took him to the cave. In 2018 the NSS Board of Governors approved funds to purchase the cave, which made it open and available for visitation by the 2019 NSS Convention in Cookeville.