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Adventure, Travel / May 18, 2016

Travel the underground

Written by: Matt Minich

The hipsters in our office insist that in any scene, all the really good stuff is found underground.

We’re not sure that applies to the adventure travel scene. But to placate Hudson, we spent the last week rounding up the world’s best subterranean travel destinations. And we got a pourover coffee maker for the office.

Romania’s salt mine theme park

Photo by Ungureanu Adrian Danut.

Last week, no one on the Shoulders of Giant team had any desire the spend their hard-earned vacation days in a defunct Transylvanian salt mine. But that changed when we learned about the Salina Turda theme park (you’ll need to translate that site)

Hidden 400 feet beneath the Romanian countryside, the park is housed in an ancient (and now defunct) salt mine. The mine’s caverns are large enough to contain a ferris wheel, a mini-golf course, a boating lagoon, and about a dozen more attractions.

Adult entry to the park costs just 20 lei (about $5 USD), and children get in for half that. But you have to get to Romania first. If that’s too much for you to swing right now, just check out the park on Google Street View.


The underground Welsh bounce house

Photo courtesy of Bounce Below. 

Bear with us here—because we know “underground Welsh bounce house” sounds like bait for a child abduction. But there really is an expansive subterranean trampoline park in Wales. It’s called Bounce Below.

The park is psychedelic and extensive, with a whole network of steel slides and technicolor nets suspended in the UK’s Llechwedd State Caverns. The park houses rooms in which every wall is a trampoline, which is awesome.

An all ages ticket to Bounce Below costs £25 (about $30 USD), and gets you an hour of access to the park. A ticket for kids ages 7-17 costs just £20 (about $25 USD).

Kentucky’s Mega-Cavern Bike Park

Photo courtesy of Louisville Mega-Cavern. 

So you want to ride BMX, but your skin turns to ash when exposed to the sun? In most places, you’d be out of luck. But in Kentucky, you can practice your moves in an extensive underground bike park.

Housed in an old limestone quarry 100 feet under Louisville, the Mega Underground Bike Park stays at a cool 60 degrees Fahrenheit all year long. The 325,000 square foot park contains singletrack and cross-county loop trails as well as jump lines and BMX features.

Passes to the park start at $24 (for a four-hour visit). Helmets are required, but helmets and bikes are available for rent. The bike park is just a component of Louisville’s famous Mega Cavern, which also houses a zipline tour, an adventure course, an event center, and several other attractions.



about the author

Matt Minich

Matt Minich is Editorial Director for Shoulders of Giants. He has spent more than a decade writing, editing, and curating content about outdoor sports and adventure. As an adventure journalist he has climbed peaks in Patagonia, rappelled waterfalls in Colorado, B.A.S.E. jumped in Moab, and sampled fermented horse milk in Kyrgyzstan.

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