Visiting the Cave of the Mounds is a must-do if you are going to be in the Wisconsin area. It’s a National Natural Landmark, and it was worth the trip. If you love nature and the outdoors, this place is definitely for you!
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When we visited our good friends in Wisconsin, I never realized the travel opportunities Wisconsin has to offer. So when we were in the pre-planning stages, our friends recommended several places to go. This is how we found ourselves visiting the Cave of the Mounds.
About The Cave Of The Mounds
Cave of the Mounds takes its name from the Blue Mounds, two large hills which have long been Wisconsin landmark features. The West Mound, at 1716 feet, is the highest point in Southern Wisconsin; the East Mound reaches 1489 feet. Cave of the Mounds lies under the southern slope of the East Mound.History of the Cave of the Mounds
Where Are They Located?
They are located in southwest Wisconsin, twenty five miles west of Madison just off U.S. Highways 18 and 151 between Mount Horeb and Blue Mounds. If you want a fun side trip, make sure you check out the Mount Horeb Trollway, I guarantee you will love it!
How Much Does It Cost To Get In?
The cost of tickets to get in are: Adults are $18.95 and children(ages 4-12) are $10.95. Children under the age of 3 are free. You can visit their website to get the most up-to-date costs.
You can purchase them online ahead of time, unless you wait until whatever day you are going. One bonus of purchasing them online is that they are good for an entire year, and do not expire. They are, however, non-refundable.
Once you purchase your tickets, you can wander around the gift shop while you wait for your assigned tour time. There are so many cute things to look at, from key chains to gems to jewelry, you will find a souvenir for everyone.
Is This A Good Place To Visit With Kids?
When we went back in 2012, my boys were less-than-enthusiastic about going. But, once we got there, they were into it as much as I was. While we were there, there were tons of kids there and they were all having a blast! They really know how to combine fun with learning. So if you like to travel with kids, you will enjoy this trip.
How Long Does The Cave Tour Last?
Each tour lasts approximately an hour. The nice thing is, there are tours are always going on, so you don’t have to wait long. This is especially good for the families with younger kids that just can’t sit still.
The one fun thing about several tours going on at the same time was playing red light green light, and sometimes having to turn sideways for them to pass.
What Is The Cave Tour Like?
When it is your turn to get come in for your turn, the first thing you do is watch a brief history about the discovery of the cave and the surrounding areas. Since I am a nature freak, this part was interesting for me. Younger kids may find themselves being bored.
Then get ready for the unexpected beauty. The change in temperature from the outside to inside the cave was very noticeable, so you may want to carry a lightweight sweater with you. I am ALWAYS hot, so I was just in a tank top.
The cave was not at all what I had pictured in my mind. It was a whole lot neater! As you can see, it was truly a breathtaking experience. At one point, we were 70 feet underground. And we had to turn sideways to squeeze through the cave to get to another chamber. I am not claustrophobic by any means but it was kind of making me nervous.
But it was definitely worth the trip, and if you are visiting SW Wisconsin, you should definitely put it on your trip itinerary! I kind of get all teary eyed looking at these pictures because I miss the boys being that little. Anyone else ever feel that way?
What Can You Do At The Cave Of The Mounds?
The Cave of the Mounds offers some unique programs that include things like:
- Summer camp programs
- Overnight camp outs
- School group tours
- Cave After Dark 21+
- Birthday parties
- Private rentals
Can you believe all of the things they have to offer? You can also explore the free self-guided hiking trails, buy a geode and have it cracked open while you watch, purchase a mining bag filled with gems or fossils to sluice for treasure, or try your hand at digging for gem or fossil treasure at our Quarry’s Edge gem and fossil activities.
Final Thoughts About Visiting The Cave Of The Mounds
As someone who loves nature, this is definitely one of the places I loved visiting in Wisconsin. I am still amazed thinking about how beautiful it was so deep underground. Who would even realize it? Mother Nature really does know what she is doing, so make sure you visit if you can!
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