Below the corn fields and natural landscapes of Ohio lie caves and caverns rich in history and beauty. Discover the hidden beauty of Ohio Caverns and learn about Native American’s use of Olentangy Indian Caverns.
Olentangy Indian Caverns
Olentangy Indian Caverns is unique in that there is a self-guided tour during certain times of the year. This is not too common for developed caves. On the tour, you’ll learn about the rich history of these caverns. It’s believed that they were used as shelter by the Wyandotte Indians and possibly much earlier, as far back as 100 BC, by the Hopewell Indians.
Some inscriptions found on the walls (historical graffiti) show that some non-native explorers were in the caverns as long ago as 1718. A more recent inscription was made by an L.M. Wells in 1834. It’s believed that he used the caverns as a hide-out.
The self-guided tour makes these caverns a great place for families with kids. They’re safe enough, even though they go down as far as 105 feet. There’s also miniature golf, an animal encounter and gem mining to keep them entertained.
These caverns are home to a multitude of spectacular formations. There are two tours. The Natural Wonder Tour and the Historic Tour. Make time for both if you can but you don’t want to miss the Natural Wonder Tour. This part of the cave is home to some of the most spectacular formations I’ve ever seen.
When I was there and explained to the manager what I do, he asked me “Do you ever feel like all the caves you visit begin to look the same?” I said “Absolutely not! They’re all different is some ways.”
As if to prove the point, I was shown formations that I’ve never seen before. Many were formed with Iron Oxide and there we’re even some hybrids, Calcite stalactites growing on Iron Oxide stalactites. I could go on and on but you should really check it out for yourself.
The Historic Tour starts at the original entrance to the caverns. This area is not as rich in formations but the walls and ceilings are very colorful with mineral deposits. It also give you a good sense of what the early explorers experienced.
Look Below the Surface
While Ohio is not a state with a lot of caves, it’s well worth checking below the farmlands and open fields. There’s a lot of history and beauty down there.