Ultimate Guide to Marengo Cave, Indiana (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
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The Marengo Cave is the number one natural attraction in Indiana, and it attracts more than 70,000 visitors every year. The cave is an excellent destination for adventure-seekers as it offers spelunking opportunities and lots of other activities that will keep you occupied for a long time. It is a perfect place for vacationers and families looking for weekend getaways.
Marengo Cave, Indiana
Discovered in 1883, the cave was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1984. When it was originally discovered, it had a length of 3900 ft of passages, but with later exploration, the total passage length got extended to 15,480 ft.
History of Marengo Cave
According to geologic theory, Marengo Cave began to form one million years ago. There is no recorded document to prove that anyone entered the Marengo Cave before its historic discovery on September 6, 1883. On that day, two siblings named Blanche and Orris hiked up the hill past the cemetery and found a sinkhole surrounded by a grove of trees.
Blanche climbed to the bottom. With lighted candles, they peered inside, and ignoring the darkness and mud, she squeezed into the hole. Blanche and Orris crawled down the slippery slope and found themselves in a large chamber that seemed to continue in several directions. They saw various formations and heard water falling in the distance.
As their candles were slowly giving up, they decided to turn back and retrace their path. Climbing out was more strenuous as the mud was slimy and cold. The two siblings safely reached the top and headed home but were entirely covered with mud.
The original landowners were quickly notified of the discovery, and the main corridors were explored by the owner, Samuel Stewart’s son, and his friends on the following Sunday. The Stewart family immediately opened the cave to the public after recognizing the value of this discovery.
The Stewart family continued to own the cave till 1955. The present owners purchased the cavern in 1973 and played a significant role in expanding the operations.
Geological Cave Formations in Marengo Cave
This cave is home to more than 100 unique formations and is blessed with a large variety of speleothems. When you tour inside the cave, you will come across beautiful formations like helictites, stalagmites, flowstone, stalactites, cave popcorn, and soda straws.
Wildlife in Marengo Cave
Marengo Cave has many types of animal life. The blind cavefish are found in the lower stream level of the cave, but you will not find any in the toured section of the cave. The blind cave crayfish are also common here, but you rarely see them.
The bat population in the cave is small, but you might often see a bat flying out of the cave. The other species that you might encounter in the cave include but are not limited to cave crickets, salamanders, flies, and spiders.
Is Marengo Cave Haunted?
Marengo Cave receives many visitors, and there is nothing to prove that Marengo Cave is haunted.
How Big is Marengo Cave?
The Marengo Cave is approximately 5 miles in length. It has upper-level passages which are drier and a couple of parallel underground rivers.
There are two walking tours of the Marengo Cave:
Crystal Palace (entrance was excavated in 1910)
It is a leisurely 40-minute tour and covers a third of a mile. It takes the visitors through formation-filled rooms where visitors can see massive flowstone deposits. There is a large variety of dripstone, flowstone, and rimstone deposits which are nearly 1000 ft long.
Dripstone Trail (entrance was excavated in 1979)
It is an hour-long tour that covers almost a mile. The visitors can view the delicate soda straws, pole stalagmites, and Penny Ceiling through this tour.
Wild Cave Tour
Another option called the ‘Wild Cave’ tour is more adventurous. It is a two-hour cave exploration trip that takes the cavers into the underdeveloped sections of the Marengo Cave. It requires the willingness of the spelunkers to squeeze through the tight spaces and even make their way through water and crawl through tons of mud!
Marengo Cave Tour Prices and Discounts
There are two kinds of tours. The prices are as follows –
- USD 18.95 per adult (ages 13+)
- USD 10.95 per child (ages 4 – 12)
- USD 21.95 per adult (ages 13+)
- USD 12.95 per child (ages 4 to 12)
- USD 28.95 per adult
- USD 16.95 per child
Is Marengo Cave Cold?
The cave maintains a temperature of 52 degrees F throughout the year. You can bring a light jacket to make yourself comfortable.
What to Wear?
You must wear warm clothes and ensure your arms and legs are covered at all times. Do buy a pair of comfortable walking shoes so that you can do the tours with ease.
Marengo Cave Hours
The Marengo Cave remains open as per Eastern Standard Time. It is open from September to May daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
What to Do at Marengo Cave (Beside Tours)
After the cave exploration is over, one can take advantage of the facilities extended by its sister facility, Cave Country Canoes. There are a variety of family canoe trips on the Blue River – the first natural river of Indiana. The park also offers a wide range of gemstone mining bags, an indoor snack area, a mapped nature trail, and a massive gift shop.
The gift shop has 3000 sq ft of gift ideas, mementos, and educational items. All items are budget-friendly, and they start from as low as USD 0.50. You can also buy local foods like honey and jam.
It is a new attraction, and the pedal go-karts come equipped with all-terrain tires, adjustable seating, and reverse braking. They are ideal for all above three years of age, and the price is only USD 5 pp.
The Miner’s Maze spreads over 5000 sq ft and is a fun outdoor challenge for the whole family. It is a fantastic activity open throughout the year with an entry fee of USD 5 pp.
It is a cave simulator suitable for all ages and includes a winding maze of wooden boxes, and successfully emulates exploration tours.
Best Time to Visit Marengo Cave
You can visit the Marengo Caves any time of the year.
How to Get to Marengo Cave
The cave is in Southern Indiana on Highway 64 directly off Interstate 64. One can reach the cave conveniently from all locations such as Indianapolis, Louisville, and Evansville. One can find detailed directions here.
Hotels near Marengo Cave
If you are looking for night stay options, you can choose to stay in one of the four cabins of the property. Every person would enjoy modern amenities like central heat/air, electricity, and even a refrigerator. All four cabins have a specified picnic area and fireside eating.
There are also excellent camping facilities and amenities including a fire pit, grills, and picnic tables. The facility is accessible throughout the year, and there is a charge of USD 28 for the camping facilities.
Places To Stay Nearby
Download our Marengo Cave Guide (Unofficial) HERE:
Visiting Marengo Cave
Do you need more information before visiting Marengo Cave? Call (812) 365 – 2705/(888) 702 – 2837 or contact The Cave through the form for an information packet.
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