Indiana Caverns, home to Indiana’s longest cavern, dares visitors to descend into the Deep Darkness on a tour designed to give daredevils their daily dose of adrenaline. After heading more than 200 feet below the ground into the always-refreshing 52-degree environment, adventurers traverse one of the longest cave systems in the nation in an unforgettable exploration.
To journey that far beneath the surface, travelers must be able to climb down a 91-foot ladder on a belay, which leads to an underground mountain. After descending the mountain, voyagers then cross a subterranean river, which deepens, requiring travelers to get into kayaks in order to continue their journey.
Groups of 3-5 people pay a fee of $100 per person for the Deep Darkness Tour, while groups of 6-9 people pay a reduced fee of $85 per person. Visitors must be 18 or older to participate, though guests age 16-18 may participate if accompanied by a parent. The tour requires reservations and payment 10 days prior to their tour. The trip price includes all necessary equipment. Reservations can be made at indianacaverns.com.
Gear is supplied, including a helmet, helmet-mounted caving light, kneepads, small pack and a life jacket for the kayak trip. Adventurers are warned that they will get wet and to be prepared for the wet, cooler temperatures underground. They’re encouraged to dress in layers and wear old clothes appropriate for caving through mud and water. High-top shoes or boots are required to provide ankle support. Indiana Caverns also suggests bringing a snack and a change of clothes.
Indiana Caverns is open to the public year round and are enjoyable in any season. Tours are offered 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, and last about 75 minutes. Indiana Caverns’ gift shop is stocked with souvenirs, snacks and an on-site gem mining experience that’s popular with junior spelunkers.
Beyond its rich caving and natural offerings, Harrison County welcomes visitors with everything from incredible wineries to the nostalgia of a trio of old-time ice cream parlors. The State Historic Site marks Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first capitol, while travelers are fascinated by the Constitution Elm, a Civil War battlefield and tours of the Leora Brown School, one of the nation’s oldest standing early African American schoolhouses. Diverse dining and accommodations include a historic B&B, affordable modern hotels, country cafés and even a luxurious riverboat casino. Complete traveler information and a free visitor’s guide are available at thisisIndiana.org or (888) 738-2137.