Scratching the Surface

Explore Indiana's hidden wonders

Indiana is home to several magnificent caverns displaying staggering geological marvels. Whether visitors are looking to descend into subterranean depths or relax in a therapeutic environment, Hoosier caves can foster a deeper connection to nature.

Squire Boone Caverns, located in Mauckport, Indiana, near the Ohio River, is a geological marvel estimated to be more than a million years old. The passageways between the caves, highlighted in the cavern tour, were formed over eons.

Originally discovered by pioneers and brothers Daniel and Squire Boone in 1790, the cave is a living ecosystem with rushing streams and rare underground waterfalls. The rimstone dams are the largest publicly accessible in the U.S.

With its breathtaking formations of icicle-like structures and flowstone, this cave attracts thousands of visitors every year. Squire Boone Caverns opened to the public in 1973 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Moving north, Marengo Cave is a natural wonder nestled in the town of Marengo, Indiana. This U.S. National Natural Landmark was discovered in 1883 by siblings Blanche and Orris Heistand when they were 15 and 11 years old, respectively. The cave opened to the public that same year — landowner Samuel Stewart charged 25 cents to enter.

Marengo Cave offers two different lengths of tours, underground exploring adventures, gemstone mining, and night sleepovers in the cave. The tours of Indi- ana limestone reveal the area’s fascinating history and famous geology.

Visitors can expect to see various cave deposits like helictites, stalactites, stalagmites, and coralloids.


Squire Boone Caverns
100 Squire Boone Road Mauckport, Indiana
Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Memorial Day through mid-August, and then weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m. mid-August through Labor Day. Year-round tours are offered daily at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Marengo Cave
400 E. State Road 64 Marengo, Indiana
Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday- Sunday. The cave closes at 5 p.m. from Labor Day to Memorial Day.

Seeking a different kind of cave experience? Visit Indianapolis Salt Cave for a man-made respite from the stress of everyday life. This therapeutic cave, which opened in 2018, is a recreation of salt mines in Poland. It mimics a salt cave’s cool, humid micro-climate, which is meant to evoke ideal breathing conditions without going underground.

Salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, has been praised by some for its seeming respiratory and skin benefits. Indianapolis Salt Cave is a holistic wellness center that uses pink salt as a form of alternative healing medi- cine. The center also offers hand and foot treatments.

Indianapolis Salt Cave
8899 Kent Ave. Indianapolis, Indiana
Open Wednesday-Sunday. Hours vary by day.

Related Articles

Latest Articles