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June 26, 2013 | 10:00 AM
Words heard most often on the tours at Indiana Caverns include "Wow," "Whoa," "Neat" and "Look at that!"
Indiana Caverns has an abundance of attractions that make it a must visit for anyone living in or around Harrison County.
First and foremost is history behind the cave and its many bones from ice age animals. Not long after the more than an hour-long tour begins, visitors can look down upon bison bones. Further along in the tour is, at least for now, an active paleontologist dig with visible bones. The cave also features bear wallows or beds on both sides throughout the tour.
Bones found in the cave include peccary, bison, bear, birds, snakes, owls, beavers, boreal red-back vole, porcupine and passenger pigeon. And there's more to come, because the exploring and digging has only just begun.
The coolest part of the tour is the boat ride on the underground river. Guests pack onto a trolling motor-powered boat and make their way through turns and low-ceiling areas before turning around and coming back.
The views throughout the cave, beginning in Big Bone Mountain, are stunning.
It is also quite accessible, with two spiral staircases as the only difficult walking areas. Folks of average height only have to duck in a couple of spots, but, other than that, it's as easy as a stroll through the park. Visitors as young as toddlers and as old as 70-plus visited on opening day.
The introductory video before going on the tour does a good job of raising the excitement. And the cave itself definitely doesn't disappoint.
The gift shop area is second to none of other show caves with plenty of shopping options and interesting items to keep visitors busy before and after the tour.
A walking trail above ground helps relate the surface with the cave world below and is perfect for educational purposes.
Indiana Caverns will be one of the best field-trip spots for students in the region for a long time to come.
The cost is reasonable — $18 for an adult and $9 for children — with special discounts for groups or schools.
Parking is not an issue, but the road leading to Indiana Caverns, Green Acres Drive, needs to be widened. Two vehicles going in opposite directions can't pass each other without one stopping or, at times, even backing up.
Cavern representatives visited the Harrison County Board of Commissioners last year about the issues but nothing has been done as of yet.
The cave is located just southwest of Corydon off Shiloh Road and is open daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (hours will reduce to 5 p.m. November through March).
For more information, call 734-1200 or visit indianacaverns.com.