Two Kids Discovered this Indiana Cave in the 1800s and Now it’s the Most Visited Natural Landmark in the State
This story is cool, but the cave is even cooler (52 degrees to be exact)!
Two Kids Make a Shocking Discovery
Take a step into my time machine, and let's head back to the 1800s. The year is 1883, 15-year-old Blanche Hiestand had been hearing rumors of a sinkhole, so she decided to grab her 11-year-old brother, Orris, and together they headed out to explore. What they found was pretty incredible, a cave. You now know that cave as Marengo Cave in Marengo, Indiana.
Here is the story of its discovery from Marengo Cave's website:
On September 6, 1883, Blanche and Orris quickly hiked up the hill past the cemetery by the church. They found the sinkhole, surrounded by a grove of trees, and Blanche climbed to the bottom.
Cool air steamed out of the small opening. Lighting their candles, the pair peered inside. Ignoring the darkness and the mud, Blanche squeezed into the hole. Soon she called up to Orris, “Come on in!” Once Blanche and Orris had crawled down the steep, slippery slope, they found themselves in a large chamber that appeared to continue in several directions. They heard water falling and saw formations in the distance.
Once the landowner was made aware of Blanche and Orris' discovery on their property, the owner quickly opened the cave up for tours. This has to be one of the coolest cave origin stories I've ever heard! Two kids go out exploring and discover what we now know as Marengo Cave.
Marengo Cave is a Hoosier Favorite
Since its opening over a century ago, Marengo Cave has become a popular destination for people who want to go exploring inside a cave. In fact, recently the Indiana Department of Transportation shared that Marengo Cave is Indiana's "most visited natural, national landmark."
Walk, hike, crawl, mine, camp... you can do it all Marengo Cave – Indiana's most visited natural and National Landmark in our Indiana Department of Transportation: Southwest district. The cave, which stays steady at 52 degrees year-round, is a great option for an IN Indiana Spring Break! Take the Scenic Route IN Indiana down State Road 64 to Marengo to explore this 5-mile cave!
Marengo Cave Tours
If you're interested in exploring Marengo Cave for yourself, the cave is open for tours all year. They offer two different walking tour options the Crystal Palace Tour and the Dripstone Trail Tour. Both have a run time of close to an hour. Marengo Cave also offers specials if you want to bundle and do both tours.
There is more to do than just touring the cave at Marengo Cave as well, they have options for camping, a cave simulator for kids, pedal karts, gemstone mining, and much more. You can check out MarengoCave.com to plan your visit!