The Bilstein Cave was discovered in 1887 by Franz Kersting, a forestry worker from Warstein, during road construction work. Since 1888 it has been open to visitors as a show cave.
The cave system is a total of 1,850 meters long, a good 400 meters of which can be comfortably entered and are open for viewing. The other meters are reserved for well-equipped speleologists, not least because the deeper cave areas are under water for months at a time. An active cave stream flows through the lower level of the cave system.
In 2015, Bilstein Cave was equipped with a new LED lighting system. In the bright light, the colors of rocks and stalactites can be seen even better, and many stalactite formations that previously received little attention have now become real crowd-pleasers. The guided tour lasts about 30 minutes; during opening hours, tours are offered at least every 45 minutes. Tickets for the cave tours, information about the next guided tour and the rich offer of the Bilstein store can be found in the Old Youth Hostel, only 200 meters walking distance from the parking lot.
Note: The temperature in the cave is about 8°C. Especially on warm summer days you should think of a jacket or a sweater.
Paleontological and prehistoric finds have been made in the Bilstein Cave: bone finds of a cave bear, cave lion, cave hyena and reindeer. Also a copper dagger of the Bell Beaker Culture (about 2300 BC), a cylinder neck vessel of the Urnfield Culture (about 800 BC) and numerous finds from the Iron Age, such as pottery, jewelry and human bones.
The immediate surroundings of the Bilstein cave are also exciting to observe: due to the porous limestone, the Bilsteinbach stream disappears several times in so-called creek meanders at the foot of the Bilstein rock. It emerges again in a karst spring directly at the cave parking lot - which, however, is strongly dependent on the water flow of the Bilsteinbach.
The Bilstein cave always offers action days such as the Adventure Day, the shining Bilsteintal or the Winter Magic. There are also regular events in the forest restaurant, such as an Orient Dinner Show or "All-In Celebrations". There are also intensive cave tours with lots of time and information, approx. 1 hour, max. 10 persons, dates by appointment: adults 8,00 Euro, children 6,00 Euro. Please inform yourself about current offers on the website.
The Bilsteintal can be reached by public transport, bus line R76.