MARENGO CAVE: More than 130 years ago two children, armed with only tiny candles, lowered themselves down into a small hole. Descending along a steep, muddy slope, they entered a large room filled with sparkling formations. Even by the dim candlelight, they knew they found something special. Since that day in 1883, more than three million visitors embark on the splendors of Marengo Cave, making it Indiana’s most popular natural attraction. In 1984, Marengo Cave was designated a National Landmark
by The National Park Service as the area’s most highly decorated cavern. Marengo Cave Park is located just 2 hours south of Indianapolis, 1.5 hours east of Evansville and 40 minutes west of Louisville, Kentucky.
Choose the Crystal Palace or Dripstone Trail tours, or both. Tours cover different sections of the huge cave. Open daily all year. Tours leave approximately 30 minutes apart.
Marengo Cave offers several surface attractions, including panning for gemstones and “The Crawl,” an exciting maze-like cave simulator. The park also has a large gift shop, picnic areas, camping cabins, natural trails, campsites and offers special Group Adventure Packages, popular with church, scout and other youth groups.
CAVE COUNTRY CANOES: Canoeing the beautiful Blue River has been a popular activity for over 40 years. In 1974, the Blue River was designated Indiana’s first scenic waterway. Much of the Blue River remains as it did when Native Americans first paddled its clear, spring waters. Special thanks for the preservation of the river corridor goes to area landowners, Indiana DNR and The Nature Conservancy.
The Blue River flows below towering limestone bluffs through the heart of Cave Country. Cave Country Canoes operates from Milltown, Indiana, just 5 minutes from Marengo Cave. The Blue River is a great Class 1 stream, meaning it offers enough rapids and riffles to add some excitement to your adventure, but not real white-water, requiring advanced skills or guides.
Cave Country Canoes offers half-day, full-day and two-day trips on various sections of the river, depending on the changing water levels. Open daily May through August; on weekends in April, September and October; subject to water levels and weather conditions. Cave Country Canoes operate trips on scheduled departure times, so it is a good idea to call ahead for reservations, departure times and river conditions at 812-365-2705.
Family Day—walking tours in and around Marengo Cave. Relax in family-style cabins on the park grounds of Marengo Cave, national landmark. (marengocave.com)
Canoe and kayak the nearby Blue River. Full and half day trips available. (cavecountrycanoes.com)
Swimming, boating and fishing at Patoka Lake, 30 minutes away from your night’s lodging at Marengo Cave cabins.
Hike, bike and crawl! Hike nearby O’Bannon Woods State Park, bike through Patoka Lake cycling trails, and for the extreme adventure seeker, crawl your way through High Adventure Crawling Cave Tours at Marengo Cave—advance reservation needed.