Explore the Natural Wonders of Ohio Caverns

Need a break from the hot summer weather? According to Ohio Caverns, “It’s always 54 degrees in the cave!”

Ohio Caves at Ohio Caverns
Image Source: Ohio Caverns Website

Ohio Caverns is located just over 100 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati in West Liberty, Ohio. According to Google Maps, the drive clocks in at just under 2 hours – perfect for a day trip or a “one tank of gas” weekend getaway!

What are the Ohio Caverns?

The Ohio Caverns were first discovered in 1897, and are the largest of their kind in the state of Ohio! Over 2 miles of underground passageways take visitors throughout different parts of the cave, from 30 to 103 feet underground.

Caves at Ohio Caverns
photo credit: Rich Moffitt / Flickr

Take a Tour Through “Ohio’s Largest and Most Beautiful Cavern”

During the summer months, visitors can pick from two cavern tours: the Historic Tour and the Natural Wonder Tour.

  • The Historic Tour (~45 minutes) centers around the cavern’s discovery and initial exploration from 1897 to 1925. Visitors will take a bus to the cave’s original entrance and see “historic graffiti” from its earliest adventurers.
  • The Natural Wonder Tour (~1 hour) focuses on the cave after 1925. This tour gives visitors a scenic view of the Mingo Valley, enters the cavern through a sinkhole entrance, and takes visitors to the largest stalactite in Ohio: the Crystal King!

If you’re visiting the cave between October 1 – April 30, you can take the Winter Tour. This hybrid tour shows off highlights from both the Historic and Natural Wonder tours, and an additional section not available during the summer tours.

The Limestone Tour (~25 minutes) was created for for guests with limited mobility and is wheelchair accessible. Guests will take some of the same paths used in the Natural Wonder Tour and learn about the cavern’s history. This tour is by reservation only and available May 1 – September 30.

Ohio Caverns Cave Tour
Image Source: Ohio Caverns Website

Mine for Gems & Fossils

For little adventurers who just can’t get enough of the cave explorations, you can pick up bags of mining “rough” at the gift shop. Mining sluices are available both indoors and outdoors, where mini miners can sift through the gemstones, minerals, fossils, and arrowheads to see what treasures they can find.

Ohio Caverns Outdoor Mining Sluice
Image Source: Ohio Caverns Website

Plan Your Visit

Ohio Caverns is open every day, excluding Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Tours last an hour or less, and the temperature is a steady 54 degrees year-round (so you may want to pack a light jacket!).

Beyond the cave tours, there is also a 35-acre park directly above the caverns with a playground, picnic areas, and restrooms.

While you are not permitted to take food into the caverns, you are invited to bring a picnic to enjoy in the park.

Ohio Caverns Picnic Shelter
Image Source: Ohio Caverns Website

While you’re in the Dayton & Columbus area, add these day trip ideas to your travel itinerary:

2020 Health Precautions at Ohio Caverns

Here’s what Ohio Caverns doing to help keep employees and visitors safe in 2020:

  • Staff is required to wear masks at all times
  • Guests are encouraged to wear masks
  • Tour sizes are less than 10 people
  • The cavern route is a “one-way” progression
  • Frequent sanitation of “high touch” surfaces
  • Touchless transactions and purchasing, when possible
  • Purchasing tickets online is encouraged

Ohio Caverns is located at 2210 East State Route 245, West Liberty, Ohio 43357