If exploring caves is your idea of fun, Indiana Caverns should be on your list of destinations!
The Indiana Caverns are part of the Binkley Cave System, the most extensive cave system in Indiana and the newest show cavern in the US. That’s because the Indiana Caverns section was only discovered in 2010 and has since been turned into a family adventure park with plenty of fun activities available besides the cave tours.
Let’s look at all the things you can do inside Indiana Caverns!
7 Things to Do In The Indiana Caverns Family Adventure Park
Here are the top 7 things you can do while visiting the Indiana Caverns.
1. Explore the Majestic Indiana Caverns by Foot and by Boat.
Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of exploring caves; the idea of being far underground in a cramped space just doesn’t do it for me. The Indiana Caverns wasn’t that, however.
This massive network of caves, which spans more than 44 miles in length, was open and spacious for the most part. At least, the parts where the tour groups go are.
There are built-in steel stairs and paths, and everything is well-lit so at no point do you feel unsafe or get that intense claustrophobic feeling. Most of the one and a half hour tour is on foot but it also includes a 20-minute boat ride for a part of it.
The boat ride is probably the biggest highlight of this tour besides the bone room and you get to see all sorts of things during the ride like cave salamanders and blind crawfish. During the walking part of the tour, you also get to see a 40-foot underground waterfall and learn more about the history and scientific significance of the cave from the guide.
If you have small children or elderly people who want to go as well then this should be one of the better caverns for them to visit. While it’s not wheelchair accessible, there isn’t any rock-climbing (just the stairs) or crawling involved. The guides are also wonderful and will go at a pace that the group’s slowest members can keep up with.
Cost: $25 per head for adults (aged 12+); $14 for kids (aged 4-11); kids under 3 can go in for free but no strollers or backpacks are allowed.
More information: Cave Tours | Indiana Caverns
2.Experience Real, Absolute Darkness.
While the guided tour part of the cave exploration is relatively stress-free, they do offer something a bit more anxiety-inducing (at least to me) in the form of a 4-hour spelunking exploration deeper into the caves.
For this adventure, you have to wear closed shoes, long-sleeved clothes and will be provided with a hard hat and headlamp. This part is not suitable for young children or elderly people as you start off on belay down a 90-foot ladder with ropes, then climb and crawl your way through the underground.
This is not something you should undertake if you’re not relatively fit or if you have health issues. It’s quite the arduous trek during which you’ll have to kayak upriver for a good part of it as well.
You need to be at least 14 years old and weight at least 100 pounds to participate, and you’ll need to reserve a timeslot at least 3 days in advance.
Reservation: (812) 734-1200; look for Jen
Cost: Starts at $120 per head for a group of 3 people; bigger groups pay a bit less per head.
More information: Deep Darkness
3. Let The Kids Loose In The Sabertooth’s Lair.
If you have children with you and you can’t take them on the Deep Darkness attraction, this can be a good alternative.
The Sabertooth’s Lair isn’t actually part of the cave system since it’s manmade and has its own skull-shaped entrance. This is a 400-feet crawl through a small tunnel-like “cave” with some fun surprises spread throughout.
Kids 6 years old and up, parents, and non-parent adults alike are welcome to join in this lighthearted activity, so if you’re not up for Deep Darkness but still want to get the “spelunking” experience then this might be more up your alley.
Thankfully, there’s no mud or water involved so you’ll come out looking clean-ish overall. They provide gloves and a helmet as well.
Cost: $6 per head (all ages)
More information: Sabertooth Lair
4. Save Miners Stuck 1,000 Feet Underground or Escape a Hidden Temple.
Not literally, of course.
Indiana Caverns offers two Escape Room experiences. One is a control room for a mineshaft where a mining crew is trapped and you’ll have to work to get them out. The other, newer escape room is a hidden temple where you’re trapped.
The escape rooms have their fair share of puzzles and surprises, and some tight nooks as well. Other than the location it’s pretty standard fare so if you’ve done an escape room or two before then you’ll know how this works.
Groups of a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 8 persons are allowed in a room at a time, and if you have a small group you may be asked to join another group to fill out the 8 slots. To guarantee a private room, it’s recommended to go through an online booking.
Children 14 and younger may participate as long as there’s an adult present. However, it’s not really recommended for them as they might even hinder you from concentrating on the puzzles and challenges.
Cost: $20 per head for adults (aged 12+); $10 for kids (aged 7-11)
More information: Escape Room
5. Get A Major Adrenaline Rush.
The Indiana Caverns don’t just offer exciting things to do underground, they have some more fun things to do on the ground level as well.
Or rather above it.
The park’s single-rail zip coaster, which they’ve aptly named the Bat Chaser, is a fun and exhilarating ride that lets you soar though the air. For those who haven’t seen them before, a zip coaster is a steel rail zipline that you’re attached to with a seat harness.
Personally, I feel they’re much safer than normal ziplines since a steel rail is much sturdier than a cable. Not that I’m putting ziplines down, but this might be a better option for kids or people who are new to ziplines.
In addition, the Bat Chaser is one of only two zip coasters available in the US, so if you’re into the thrill of coasters and looking for a unique experience then I would highly recommend this.
Cost: $20 per head for adults (aged 12+); $10 for kids (aged 7-11)
More information: Bat Chaser
6. Take The Plunge.
In case you just need a quick adrenaline fix, Indiana Caverns still has you covered.
The Plunge is a fifty-foot quick-drop experience, which allows you to experience free fall through a controlled descent.
This is only for guests 8 years old and above, weighing 50 to 280 pounds.
Cost: $15 per head (all ages)
More information: The Plunge
7. Try Your Hand At Gemstone And Fossil Panning
If you don’t want to buy your gemstones at the gift shop and prefer a more hands-on approach then you can try panning for them instead.
This isn’t “realistic” panning by any means as you buy a bag containing the type of gemstones or fossils that you would like to collect. Or go for the mixed bag for a surprise.
Choose your bag or bucket and head to the Peccary Mining Sluice outside. You’ll be lead to a panning area where you can upend your bag into a sifter and use water combined with your hands to find the gemstones in the dirt.
Cost: Bags and buckets range from $9 to $50 depending on size and content
More information: Gemstone Mining
Information And Tips On Visiting The Indiana Caverns
Address: 1267 Green Acres Drive SW, Corydon, IN 47112
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
How to Get to the Indiana Caverns
The Indiana Caverns Family Adventure Park is only 5 minutes off Exit 105/Corydon on I-64 and only 25 miles west of Louisville, KY.
Everything in the park is accessible by foot and you won’t have to drive anywhere once you’re parked. There are picnic facilities and a gift shop but it doesn’t sell anything to eat.
If you don’t take your own food then you will want to drive to nearby Corydon (it’s just 5 minutes away) and visit one of the restaurants there.
Best Time of Year To Visit
This depends greatly on what you want to do at the caverns. The park is open year-round except for two holidays, but certain attractions will be closed depending on the weather.
For instance, if it’s too cold or raining then the Bat Chaser won’t be operating. Similarly, the underground spelunking adventure will be postponed if it is raining or has rained recently since that can mean some parts of the caves are filled with water.
What To Wear
The cave is 56 degrees year-round so not too bad, but you’ll want to take a jacket just in case. It can get a bit chilly during the boat ride, especially. You don’t need to wear trainers or boots for the main tour and generally, any comfortable flat shoes will do fine. Leave the flip flops at home though.
What To Expect
The staff and guides at the Indiana Caverns are all very helpful and friendly. As is the case with tourist attractions, you’ll have to deal with the other visitors and it’s best to try and come early when there are generally fewer people.
Other Things To Do in the Area
Patoka Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Indiana and is an hour’s drive from Indiana Caverns.
Or if you fancy a bourbon-tasting trip instead, the Louisville distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail are around half an hour away via I-64.
Otherwise, I also have a list of awesome things to do in Indiana if you’re planning to stay awhile.
Go Have a Fun Time at the Indiana Caverns!
I’m always keen on finding new things to do with my family and the Indiana Caverns are a great choice. Not only can you learn some new things but you’ll have a good time doing it.
If you were planning on visiting the caverns then, hopefully, this article has helped you understand what to expect when you get there. Let me know what your Indiana Caverns experience was like!
If you’re interested in checking out other caves, check out our picks of some of the best caves in the US.