Billed as “Indiana’s Most Visited Natural Attraction,” Marengo Cave, located in – or rather, under – Marengo, Indiana, has been hosting daily public tours since 1883, starting just days after the cave’s discovery by two local school children.
While there are several different accounts of exactly how Marengo Cave was discovered, according to the State of Indiana two children – brother-and-sister Orris and Blanche Hiestand – were at play in a grove on Thursday, September 6, 1883 when they noticed an opening at the bottom of a sink hole. Upon following a rabbit into the opening, the children found a vast cave within, adorned with many with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.
Upon relaying the news of their grand discovery the following Sunday, a group of explorers entered the cave; soon afterwards, regular tours began being held, and the legend of Marengo Cave was born due to its “stunning” views; today, it is one of the most-visited underground landmarks in the United States, and is a very popular tourist attraction.
Marengo cave is open year-round and offers guests two completely different walking tours. The Dripstone Trail tour covers one mile of the cave and takes approximately 60–70 minutes to complete; it focuses on the history of the discovery of the cave. The Crystal Palace tour takes 35–40 minutes to complete and covers one-third mile of the cave; this tour offers views of soda straws – also known as tubular stalactites – and other-worldly stalagmites, in addition to the underground river that helped to carve out the cave. Both tours see different sections of the cave and are not similar.
The cave was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1984, and has been the location of several motion picture film shoots, including Abby (1974), Madison (2001), and Fire from Below (2008).
Marengo Cave also offers lodging options for visitors, including single and multi-room cabin rentals as well as camping grounds. The cave itself is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To find out more, please visit https://marengocave.com.
Marengo Cave National Landmark
400 East State Road 64
Marengo, IN 47140