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According to current geologic theory, Marengo Cave began to form approximately one million years ago. There is no documented evidence that anyone ever entered Marengo Cave before its historic discovery on September 6, 1883 by Orris and Blanche Hiestand, brother and sister, who lived in Marengo. The main corridors were quickly explored by Samuel Stewart’s son and his friends the following Sunday. Recognizing the value of what they had found, the Stewart’s immediately opened the cave to the public. The cave remained in the Stewart family until 1955. The present owners purchased the cavern in 1973 and have greatly expanded the operations.
The park above the cavern covers approximately 122 acres of forested hills and valleys. The cave itself is approximately 5 miles in length. It consists of drier upper level passages and two parallel underground rivers.
Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1984 as the most highly decorated cavern in the Interior Lowlands of the U.S., the show cave level is considered a classic example of a mature trunk passage in the middle stage of development. Currently Indiana’s most visited show cave. The type locality of 6 cave animals, which were first identified here. Lower level considered the largest size cave passage of over 3,000 known Indiana caves.
Marengo Cave offers easy walking tours that will amaze adults and children alike. The Dripstone Trail tour is 1 mile, lasting 60 minutes in duration. The Crystal Palace tour is 1/3 mile, lasting 40 minutes in duration. Both tours are guided and are offered year-round.
Our cave simulator design was imported from Belgium and allows guests to wind and twist one way through a series of challenging wooden boxes. This is activity is a hot item for organized groups as well as for adventurous families looking for a little extra fun.
Take a two-hour cave exploring trip into the undeveloped sections of the cavern by advance reservation only.
Sister facility Cave Country Canoes offers a variety of family canoe trips on Blue River, Indiana’s first designated natural and scenic river. The Milltown Headquarters is only a short five minute drive from Marengo Cave.
The park offers a variety of gemstone mining bags and two group shelter houses, the Clifton Group Center for groups staying overnight, four air-conditioned camping cabins, an indoor snack area, a mapped nature trail, and a large gift shop.
Marengo Cave operates on Eastern Standard Time. Hours are as follows:
Sept-May open daily 9am-5pm
Memorial Day-Labor Day open weekdays 9am-6pm, weekends 9am-6:30pm with extended gift shop hours for campers on weekends.
For more information, contact our Media Representative.