Travelling in a westerly direction in Rutherford County, Hwy 64/74 through Lake Lure leads to the Village of Chimney Rock, home to the new NC state park, the Hickory Nut Gorge State Park. If you keep going west, you will cross from Rutherford County into Henderson County where you follow the road and the winding Rocky broad River to the little town of Bat Cave.
Yes, there is a cave with bats and it is open to the public during the times of the year when the bats will be least disturbed by visitors. It is the largest known fissure cave in North America, formed by movements of the earth and rock shifts. 300 feet long and 85 feet high, the main chamber of the cave is a dark cathedral, moist and cool.
Located on about 200 acres, Bat Cave is a protected site owned by the North Carolina Mountain Conservancy and a private owner. The forests in the area contain a variety of plants and animals, many on endangered species lists.