If you’re ready for a unique adventure this year then head to the midwest and take a boat ride through America’s longest underground river. Bluespring Caverns is one of four caves on the Indiana Cave Trail and you won’t regret taking the time to explore all four! They invited me to come out and enjoy a tour as I spent the weekend researching and covering the Indiana Cave Trail. If you go to all four caves on the trail get your passport stamped and you’ll get a free t-shirt! I stayed at Buffalo Trace Park which was a good central-ish spot between the caves.
Cave tours are about one hour long and like all caves it stays in the mid 50’s inside so you might need a light jacket or sweatshirt. Bluespring Caverns is of course a natural underground river so they do shut down when there is flooding in the area! Make sure to call before going if you know there has been heavy rain in the area! Although you will sit in a boat for the duration of the cave tour there is a very steep 400′ walk in and out of the cave entrance.
Once you enter the cave you’ll have one more very steep ramp to walk down to get down to the boat – but there is a hand rail as you see above. I was SO excited to go into Bluespring Caverns. After being in over 30 cave systems I have only once ever been on a boat ride for the entire tour, and this tour was a much larger scale experience than when I visited Spook Cave. You can see the boats when you first walk in which really made me eager to hurry up and get down to the boats!
This pontoon like boat was easy to get into if you can handle a couple stairs and had cushions for comfort on each seat. After an hour ride I really appreciated those cushions being there!
Unfortunately the rest of my photos are not that great. Taking photos in a very dark cave in a moving boat is near impossible! You can see better photos on the Bluespring Caverns Facebook page and of course on their website here. It was AMAZING! We were literally boating through a dark cave with just a strong flashlight from our guide. What an incredible experience! In my opinion it wasn’t spooky or scary at all but if you have very young children afraid of the dark this may make them nervous.
What surprised me, perhaps, was the amount of wildlife we found in this dark cave river! We saw TONS of blind cavefish and because I came in early spring there were frogs still in the cave at every turn. I even spotted an awesome cave salamander sitting on the wall!
Believe it or not there are actually not very many cave formation inside of Bluespring Caverns.
However you will boat around this phenomenal one that hangs right down in the middle of the cavern tunnel.
Once your cave tour is complete I definitely recommend looking around in the gift shop! There was quite a variety of rocks, fossils, and even a few oddities with plenty of walking space between the aisles. If you grab a bag of mining dirt you can head right outdoors to pan your collection and then identify it at the assay station!
Don’t miss out on the 1/2 mile nature trail surrounding the property where you can hike out and take a look at Indiana’s largest sinkhole! It’s a great place for a picnic!
Bluespring Caverns DOES have overnight adventures for youth groups believe it or not! Kids will boat through the caverns and then climb out into an area not seen on the regular tour! They also offer various educational school tours including a 1/2 mile trip around Indiana’s largest sinkhole! (Find school lesson plans here!)