Bat Cage (Seneca No. 3)

Mohawk | , ,

Significance

Below the rugged cliffs and lush forests of the Keweenaw and below the many towns and villages scattered across the Copper Country is a sprawling labyrinth of underground passages. After enduring more then a century and a half of copper mining, massive portions of the peninsula have been mined out, leaving a extensive network of man-made caverns in its place. While the thousands of workers that once called those tunnels home have now left, a new resident has come to call these derelict shafts and stopes home – bats.

Every fall, millions of bats from all across the US and Canada make their way to the Copper Country to hibernate through the winter in the safety of the dozens of abandoned copper mines scattered across the peninsula. Great Lakes copper mines offer a unique habitat which the bats crave – cool and constant temperatures all winter long between 29º to 50º F, depending on depth. With many of the bat’s natural habitats becoming scarce, they have relied on the industriousness of man to provide new homes.

In an effort to make it easier for bats to enter and exit these mines while insuring the safety of humans and other animals, special shaft enclosures have been installed in various old mines across the region. Known as Bat Cages, these enclosures provide vents through which bats can easily egress, but people can’t slip through. One of the largest and most conspicuous of these bat cages sits here atop the old Seneca No. 3, which provides access to large sections of the Kearsarge Lode that the bats can call home.

Description

The No.3 is now in ruin, marked only by the bat cage and a pair of rock walls found back behind the cage in the woods. The bat cage is a large rust colored iron tube topped by a vented “cage” on its top.

Gallery

Public Access

The No.3 bat cage is owned by the county and is open to the public for viewing.

Directions

The Seneca Bat Cage sits along US41 just north of Mohawk. Follow US41 north out of Mohawk for one mile, the bat cage is along the highway to the right.