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Grand re-opening of Wyandotte Caves SRA, July 9
Start Date: 7/7/2016Start Time: 12:00 AM
Event Description:

For immediate release: July 7, 2016

Wyandotte Caves State Recreation Area in Crawford County will re-open this Saturday as a way of celebrating the 100th anniversary of Indiana State Parks.

 A ceremony commemorating the grand re-opening starts at 11 a.m. Speakers will include Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana State Parks director Dan Bortner, and local lawmakers.

 On July 9 and 10, all cave tours will be free to the public. Visitors on these days can also check out activity stations ranging from geology to snakes to live birds of prey.

 Wyandotte Caves SRA is managed by nearby O’Bannon Woods State Park and is home to Little Wyandotte and Big Wyandotte caves.

 In 2009, state officials closed Wyandotte and all other caves, tunnels, sinkholes and abandoned mines on DNR properties in an attempt to slow the westward movement of white nose syndrome, a disease that kills bats. In closing caves and other bat hibernation areas, natural resources managers hoped to prevent the accidental transmission of WNS on the shoes and clothes of cave visitors.

 White nose syndrome arrived in Indiana in 2011. Since then, Indiana has been gradually providing access to caves again for visitors, with requirements to follow decontamination protocols recommended by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Self-guided tours of Little Wyandotte Cave are available throughout both days on July 9 and 10, with cave guides stationed at the entrance, exit and inside the cave. Guided tours of Big Wyandotte Cave last two hours and will be conducted at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Fee-based, guided cave tours will be offered on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from July 15 through Labor Day weekend. Tours of Little Wyandotte are considered easy and are open to all ages. Tours of Big Wyandotte are considered rugged and are available only to visitors ages 6 and older.

Big Wyandotte Cave will be closed after Labor Day weekend through Memorial Day weekend because it is a significant hibernaculum for Indiana bats.

Learn more about Wyandotte Cave tours and fees at stateparks.IN.gov/2976.htm.

The grand re-opening will include $1.7 million in improvements, including demolition of a deteriorating visitor center and better lighting inside the caves.

The re-opening is an official Centennial Legacy Project to commemorate 100 years of Indiana State Parks. The system of state parks was a gift to Hoosiers started in 1916, when Indiana celebrated 100 years of statehood. 

From the first two state parks at McCormick’s Creek and Turkey Run in 1916, Indiana State Parks has grown today to a system that includes 24 state parks, seven state park inns and eight reservoirs. 

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

Location Information:
O'Bannon Woods State Park  (View Map)
7234 Old Forest Road SW
Corydon, IN 47112
Phone: (812) 738-8232
Contact Information:
Name: Ginger Murphy
Phone: (317) 232-4143
Email: gmurphy@dnr.IN.gov
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State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
Celebrations
State calendar classification:
  • Residents
  • Visiting and Playing
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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