For the first time since 2009, both the little and big Wyandotte Caves in O’Bannon Woods State Park are open to the public. This past weekend, I joined several folks from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the lieutenant governor for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially reopen the caves.
These caves, located in Leavenworth, have been a part of our history for thousands of years. The very first guided tours were conducted in 1851. Today, we are fortunate to be able to reopen these natural wonders, allowing visitors to walk, climb and even crawl through the caves. Friends and families from across the state and surrounding areas can come and enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of Indiana’s natural history.
Reopening this hidden gem in southern Indiana would not have been possible without work at the Statehouse to secure funding. The General Assembly provided a way for Hoosiers of all ages to not only enjoy the caves, but also learn about the physical and natural history of these structures. The lighting in the caves was improved, the old visitor center demolished and new signs were erected. These funds will continue to improve the aesthetics, safety and convenience of the caves in the coming year. Moreover, DNR will take a variety of steps to ensure the reopened caves remain a safe habitat for Indiana bats.
Cave tours will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting now until Labor Day weekend. The Little Wyandotte Cave tour is partially self-guided with trained volunteers and DNR workers staffing information stations along the way. This 30-minute tour is not very strenuous and there is no minimum age. The Big Wyandotte Cave tour takes about two hours and is guided by a trained DNR worker. It is a rigorous trip with many steps and steep hills, so having good physical health is strongly suggested. Prices will range between $4 and $18, depending on the age of the person and which cave is toured.
After touring both caves, I can honestly say there is nothing quite like it in the Midwest. I invite you, your friends and family to spend a weekend immersed in one of Indiana’s natural wonders. I also want to thank the DNR for their work and the volunteers who dedicated countless hours to get the caves back up and running for Hoosiers to enjoy.
As we continue to lead Indiana forward, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9793 or by email at email@example.com. Learn more about the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h74.
State Rep. Lloyd Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.
A high-resolution photo of Arnold can be downloaded by clicking here.