Marengo Cave National Natural Landmark in southern Indiana was a great first experience with caves. Jess, Tanna, and I spent time in July 2016, hanging out and learning about stalagmites and stalactites on the Dripstone Trail Tour. I really enjoyed learning from our guide about the different rock formations and how they are created. We even got to experience total darkness – the guide turned the lights off midway through the tour.
Marengo Cave has an interesting history, which we also learned about during the tour. Blanche and Orris Hiestand were 15 and 11 years-old when they discovered the cave by candlelight in 1883. Many people have been married in the cave and during the 1920s a preacher gave sermons in the cave. In 1985, two years after celebrating the cave’s centennial, it was designated a National Natural Landmark. While the cave is privately owned, it is monitored and protected by the National Park Service.
The Dripstone Trail Tour is an hour long and covers a mile underground. The second cave tour option is the Crystal Palace Tour, it is a 40 minute tour to another area of the cave. The two tours do not overlap in route. They can be combined and done at a reduced tour rate, if you choose.