If my wife told me someone made an exciting discovery in an Indiana cave system, I would assume that she found our son’s missing Nintendo DS in our daughter’s bedroom.
But thanks to a discovery earlier this year outside historic Corydon, I would be wrong.
Indiana cave explorers had a literal breakthrough earlier this year — discovering a passageway that links the Blowing Hole Cave and the Binkley Cave. And the best part is that it’s tourist friendly! Instead of some difficult to maneuver, muddy passageway the connector is reportedly an amazing room with cathedral-like caverns and an array of limestone formations.
But much of Indiana’s cave system is fragile and before the general public could view it, the cave community took steps to protect it. As a result Indiana Caverns has formed and will offer tourists an expedition into the new area. Dubbed “America’s newest showcave” a visitor center, picnic, and outdoor recreation area around the access point is nestled on 10.8 acres outside Corydon, IN. They’re easy to find… just 5 minutes off 1-64 and only 25 miles west of Louisville, KY.
The Binkley Cave System is Indiana’s largest and the 11th longest in the United States. You can now experience it’s amazing underground wonders:
- a 25 minute boat ride on the underground river
- diverse ecosystems & thriving cave life
- impressive Big Bone Mountain with real Ice Age bones
- a vast array of formations
- Great heights and depths
According to an Associated Press report, cavers with the Indiana Speleological Survey realized that by adding the seven-mile Blowing Hole Cave to Binkley, they’d unearthed a combined cavern that is now the 11th longest nationally, at nearly 35 miles.
There are far bigger caves. Mammoth Cave near Cave City, Ky., is the world’s longest at 390 miles, with Jewel Cave in Custer County, S.D., second at 157 miles. But Binkley’s growth “goes beyond exciting to incredible,” said Julian “Jerry” Lewis, a biologist from Borden, Ind., who has worked inside the cave on groundwater and wildlife studies.
“They keep finding more and more and more” territory, Lewis told the AP. “The potential for it to become more immense is growing by the day.”
Harrison County is part of a large area of Indiana with karst terrain — meaning it contains deep sinkholes and underground caves and streams. The Hoosier region is similar to porous landscapes found in Kentucky’s cave country and central Illinois.
Indiana’s caves draw more than 80,000 visitors annually to Marengo Cave in Crawford County and Squire Boone Caverns in southern Harrison County.