A ranch is a ranch – until it isn’t. Louis and Lina Forshage settled along Cibolo Creek in Comal County in 1883, and the land has remained a family property ever since. Its springs made it a frequent camping spot for travelers in the area, and was ideal as a location for a deer hunting camp. Charles Wuest, a descendant of one of New Braunfels’ original German settlers, joined the family when he married the Forshage’s daughter Emilie.
Years later, for Clara Wuest and her family, raising cattle, goats, chickens, and food crops on the ranch was the norm until 1960, when four spelunkers from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio exploring caves on the property stumbled upon what would become the largest show cave in Texas.
While the Wuest family found themselves in an entirely new business venture, archeological evidence reveals that people likely used the caverns as a shelter as early as 5,000 B.C. The caverns were developed as a public destination, and are considered living rock formations and they continue to change with the influx of water. Some portions of the caverns are still under exploration.
Natural Bridge Caverns has been open to the public since 1964. It was designated a U.S. National Natural Landmark in 1971, and in 2004 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Natural Bridge Caverns