Ultimate Guide to Indiana Caverns, Indiana (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
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In Indiana, caves and caverns are affordable for summer day trips. But, if you put aside the cost factor, you will understand that caves offer an experience that will remain in your memory for a long time. Most of the caves in Indiana have tours designed for the families, and they are safe too! But it would help if you packed in a jacket as caves like Indiana Caverns have a history of being chilly.
Indiana Caverns, Indiana
Indiana Caverns is the longest cave in the Midwest. Families can learn about the history of the cave during a walking tour, or you may opt for a more in-depth adventure tour. There are many activities that the kids and other family members can enjoy. So, if you are in Indiana, you must come and visit Indiana Caverns with your family.
History of Indiana Caverns
In 1918, Arvel H. Miles purchased an 81.5-acre farm just a mile south of Corydon. A sinkhole entrance to Binkley Cave was opened on the farm before the explorations of the 1930s. Harvey Binkley purchased the farm in 1944, after whom the cave is now named. Most of the explorations of the cave have been done by the Indiana Speleological Society.
In 2010, Shane Myles and Tim Pride discovered an area called Blowing Hole Boulevard. The west end of Blowing Hole Boulevard is an 85 ft tall room known as the Big Bone Mountain. The room was so named as many sets of animal bones were found in this room. Excavations by the Indiana State Museum revealed that the bones originated from the Pleistocene Ice Age animals.
In 2012 the Indian Speleological Survey started investigating a possible connection between Binkley Cave and the Blowing Hole Cave. Rocks partially blocked a passageway connecting the two caves. However, dye testing and smoke bombs revealed an exchange of air and water between the two caves.
Digging started on both sides, allowing the cavers in both the caves to shake hands with each other through the rocks. This proved that the two caves were one and not separate from each other. This made the Brinkley cave system 35 miles long, making it the longest cave in Indiana.
In June 2012, developmental work began on the Indiana Caverns, and it was opened to the public in June 2013. The Indiana Speleological Survey continues its exploration of the Binkley Cave. With the help of color dye, it has been possible to identify two local springs as the final destination of the two unexplored cave passageways.
Exploration of the waterways would add several miles to the already existing length of the cave. At the end of 2015, the surveyed cave length was 42.57 miles, and there is a potential of adding 10 miles which would be discovered in the future.
Geological Cave Formations in Indiana Caverns
Binkley Cave is a solutional cave wherein the dripping water carries calcium bicarbonate into the cave. The calcium carbonite crystallizes into the bottoms and sides of the existing helictites, stalactites, stalagmites, and limestone sheets that grow over time. The flowing water brings other minerals into the cave to create gray, white, red, and tan colors on the formations and walls.
Wildlife in Indiana Caverns
The vast extent of the cave is host to various living species in the underground stream. Salamanders are pretty commonly seen in the caverns and the waters; one would be able to spot the blind crayfish and lots of other cave critters. The Indiana Caverns is a biological hotspot as there are 21 known species of troglobites.
Is Indiana Caverns Haunted?
Indiana Caverns is a family adventure park and is not haunted.
How Big is Indiana Caverns?
The Indiana Caverns is more than 43.9 miles long.
Indiana Caverns Tours
We all know that Indiana is home to a huge system of fascinating caves. The Indiana Caverns is the longest cave in the state, and it offers beautiful walking tours so that the visitors get to know more about the history and features of this cave.
It is a unique blend of walking/boat tours, and it is only for 80 odd minutes, but the actual duration depends on how fast or slow the group is walking. The cave tour at Indiana Caverns is truly unique, and you will get to learn a lot of things that you never had the chance to know.
The sad part is that the tour is not wheelchair accessible, and anyone who can walk for long periods can complete this tour successfully. The visitors can view various wildlife species like salamanders, blind crayfish, and other cave-dwelling critters. As you wander through the different passageways and walk down the stairs, you will be amazed by the spectacle on offer and find Indiana Caverns as nothing short of paradise.
Around halfway into the tour, you will get a chance to rest your leg on the super cool boat ride as you explore the caverns on the underground river. The guide will tell you about the geological formations that have taken place here, and he will also explain the process by which they are formed!
You will also get to know about the general history of the cave system. You may also spot a few human bones from as far back as the Stone Age if you are lucky. The best part of the walking cave tour is that the tour takes place 363 days of the year, irrespective of the weather. The locals say that the rain only makes the cave beautiful.
Indiana Caverns Tour Prices and Discounts
There are four packages for the Cavern Tours, and you can choose anyone as per your budget and convenience.
SILVER – includes Cave Tour and Gemstone Mining
- Adults – USD 33
- Children (4 to 11 years) – USD 23
GOLD – includes Cave Tour and Bat Chaser
- Adults – USD 37
- Children (4 to 11 years) – USD 26
BRONZE – includes Cave Tour and Escape Room
- Adults – USD 41
- Children (7 to 11 years) – USD 21
- Children (4 to 6 years) – USD 14
PLATINUM – includes Cave Tour, Bat Chaser & Gemstone Mining
- Adults – USD 46
- Children (4 to 11 years) – USD 37
One may also opt for Cave Tour only, wherein the tickets are priced at USD 25 (Adults) and USD 14 (Ages 4 to 11 years).
Is Indiana Caverns Cold?
The temperature of the cave is 56 degrees throughout the year.
What to Wear?
One might need a jacket or long sleeves during the underground boat ride. Since the cave tour involves a lot of walking, proper walking shoes are highly recommended, although any shoes without high heels should be fine on the cave tour. However, flip-flops and sandals are a strict no-no.
Indiana Caverns Hours
The Indiana Caverns open daily at 9 am EST.
What to Do at Indiana Caverns (Beside Tours)
Indiana Caverns is a family adventure park, and the fun does not end with the cave tours only. There are loads of fun-filled activities in the park, and we are sure that you will enjoy each one of them.
The Bat Chaser is a unique combo of zip lining and steel rail coaster in a family-friendly environment. The suspended, single rail zip moves through the treetops and over the rolling surface of southern Indiana’s cave. It is a thrilling experience, and the Bat Chaser is one of its kind in the US.
The Plunge is a new attraction at Indiana Caverns, a 50 ft quick drop experience that will set your adrenaline pumping. Here you will plummet five stories before you come to rest on your feet. The Plunge is a safe activity that gives you the thrill of free fall but with a controlled descent.
It is a challenging activity where you form a part of the Rescue team to pull out the Adventure Mine crew trapped more than 1000 ft below due to a mineshaft collapse. The rescue operation needs to be completed before the clock runs out.
This is where you get to meet the baby pygmy goats. There are five of them, and you meet and feed them.
Ever tried your hand at gemstone mining? Here you get an opportunity to sift through the sand to uncover gemstones and fossils. Get to the Gift Shop, pick out a bag, and head to the Peccary Mining Sluice. You can enjoy identifying the fossils and rocks when you get the treasures.
The Deep Darkness is a 4-hour underground challenge when you will descend into utter darkness and climb and splash your way through the underground stream. You can continue the upstream journey on a kayak.
It is a fun activity for the kids wherein they experience caving without getting muddy. You will get the sturdy carver’s helmet, light, and gloves. One has to crawl 400 ft underground on hands and knees to taste what real cave exploring is all about.
The Gift Shop is the favorite haunt for all visitors, and why not? They have goodies for all age groups and adults. The price of the items ranges from USD 0.50 to USD 300. The kids love the huge collection of children’s books here.
Best Time to Visit Indiana Caverns
The best time to come to Indiana Caverns is weekdays, especially between Monday and Thursday. The cavern tours leave throughout the day at different times, starting from 9 am.
How to Get to Indiana Caverns
The Indiana Caverns is located two miles south of the small town of Corydon. The family adventure park is easily accessible from I-64.
Hotels near Indiana Caverns
There are no camping facilities at Indiana Caverns, but you can always come down to Buffalo Trace Park Campgrounds, with 14 primitive sites and more than 50 modern campground sites. There are some excellent hotels in the vicinity of Indiana Caverns, such as Holiday Inn Express & Hampton Inn by Hilton.
Places To Stay Nearby
Indiana Caverns Fun Facts
- Indiana Caverns is part of the Binkley Cave System, the longest cave in Indiana.
- The Indiana Caverns offers boat/walking tours 363 days a year.
- The underground boat tour is unique as visitors get an opportunity to see ice age fossils and a variety of other experiences.
Indiana Caverns Details
- Length: More than 43.9 miles long
- Time Recommended: 3 to 4 hours
- Difficulty: Easy
- Kid-friendly: Yes
- Dog-friendly: No
- Fees: USD 25 onwards
- Hours: 9 am to 5 pm
Download our Indiana Caverns Guide (Unofficial)
Visiting Indiana Caverns
Do you need more information before visiting Indiana Caverns? Call (812) 734-1200 for an information packet.
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