If you are looking for a new family adventure this summer, why not head underground?
The Midwest is home to a number of intricate cave networks, including the four caves that make up the Indiana Cave Trail: Bluespring Caverns, Marengo Cave, Indiana Caverns and Squire Boone Caverns. Each features its own unique wonders of the underground world, from rock formations to waterfalls, blind cave fish to Ice Age bones. The best part? These caves stay a cool 54 degrees year-round on average, making them the perfect place to cool off when the temperatures soar. Below we break down what each cave has to offer.
Location: 1459 Bluespring Caverns Rd, Bedford, IN 47421
Explore the heart of the natural world by boat! An hour-long boat ride through Bluespring Caverns puts you face to face with the majesty of this natural wonder. Keep an eye out for blind cave fish and enjoy the sounds of the rushing river. Above ground, be sure to walk the half-mile nature trail through the Bolton Natural Area for your chance to view one of Indiana’s largest sinkholes. For more information, visit bluespringcaverns.com.
Squire Boone Caverns
Location: 100 Squire Boone Rd, Mauckport, IN 47142
As the story goes, Squire Boone and his brother Daniel discovered these caverns in 1790. Today, families can walk in Boone’s footsteps, passing stalactites and stalagmites, rushing streams and underground waterfalls. And this year, for the first time since opening to the public in 1973, Squire Boone had unveiled a new tour through this wondrous cave. Guided one-hour tours leave every 30 to 40 minutes. Find out more at squireboonecaverns.com.
Location: 400 East State Road 64, Marengo, IN 47140
This U.S. National Landmark is definitely one to add to the bucket list. Marengo Cave offers easy walking tours that will amaze adults and children alike. The Dripstone Trail tour is 1 mile and lasts 60 minutes. The Crystal Palace tour is 1/3 mile and lasts 40 minutes. Both are guided and are offered year-round. Kids will get a kick out of The Crawl: a winding maze that allows little ones to get a feel for what cave exploration is like without all of the water and mud. Visit marengocave.com for more info.
Location: 1267 Green Acres Drive SW, Corydon, IN 47112
Explore Indiana’s longest cave. Families will enjoy the Panoramic Views Tour. During this 1½ hour tour, you’ll descend 110 feet underground, enjoy a 25-minute boat ride on the underground river and learn about the rich history of Indiana caverns, all while taking in breathtaking underground views. Above ground, kids can take part in gem stone mining and explore “The Cavern of The Sabertooth,” a crawling adventure where kids set out in search of the Sabertooth Lair. For more information, visit indianacaverns.com.
It would be impossible to tour all four caves in one day, but there is no rush! You have until December 31, 2020 to check them all off your list in order to earn your very own cave trail t-shirt. Simply pick up a passport at the first cave you visit and have it stamped at each subsequent cave. This is a great way to plan out several weekend adventures over the course of the summer. For more on tackling the cave trail, visit indianacavetrail.com.