Kentucky is certainly rich with plenty of cave wonders, but just outside Louisville in Corydon Indiana, there are even more natural beauties to behold with some really cool characteristics and plenty of additional family activities to create a fun-filled weekend this fall.
This is a map of our recent adventure. You can follow our path along the Corydon Indiana Cave Trail or make one of your own. The key is to head their with an expectation of discovery and great pair of walking shoes!
Lodging in Corydon is plentiful. You’ll find familiar chains like Super 8, camp grounds, bed and breakfasts and locations suited to accommodating small or large groups. You can check http://www.thisisindiana.org/Lodging for a list of ideas on where to stay when you arrive.
If you are making a weekend of it, start the journey off with a visit to the Golf Shores Fun Center. Open late on Friday and Saturday nights, the center offers a black-light indoor 18-hole golf course and an outdoor (seasonal) 18-hole golf course for double the fun. There’s also an arcade, snack shop, coffee shop (open during the day) and Wi-Fi lounge for parents to take a break while the kids play on. We had a blast with both of the golf courses and found the rates to be very reasonable. (Tip: check the website before you head there for discount coupons!) As the caves typically close by nightfall, the Golf Shores Fun Center is an excellent location for nighttime fun.
There are three primary cave locations in the area, but if you are seeking a bit of an extra thrill, head for Squire Boone Caverns first where you’ll find an exceptional canopy zipline experience. Imagine sailing over the treetops in a swirl of vibrant fall colors as you delight in this airborne thrill. The course has knowledgeable, friendly instructors, 6 well-designed canopy ziplines and a fun swinging suspension bridge.
After (or before) you create lasting memories with the Squire Boone Caverns Zipline Adventures, take a journey underground with the Squire Boone cave tour. Kentuckians will appreciate the historical connection (Squire Boone is brother to Daniel Boone) and everyone will be mesmerized by the exceptional abundance of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone and other natural cave formations.
Families will also enjoy mining for gemstones and fool’s gold in the sluice (mining packets are available for purchase,) and shopping in the Rock Shop for souvenirs or to pick out some sweet treats. During the summer months, the village also offers a Grist Mill, Kitchen and Candy Shop, Candle-making and Soap-making demonstrations and other activities. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Squire Boone Caverns and highly recommend the zipline as one of the very best to be found in the tri-state area.
The next cave on our route was the US National Landmark, Marengo Cave. Two distinctly different walking tours are available, the Dripstone Trail and the Crystal Palace, each offering a fascinating view of the history and natural beauty of the cave. If you only have time for one, pick the one that peaks your interest the most, but if you have time to take both, do! You’ll have a well-rounded adventure after both tours and certainly get your exercise in for the day in the process.
One of things we liked best about the Marengo Caves was the ease of walking through the caverns. The cave has high ceilings through most of the structure and wider paths. There are also relatively few stairs in contrast to other caves making this the most family-friendly stop on our path for family members of all ages. If you take the Dripstone Trail, be sure to bring some pennies along. My sons enjoyed this surprise of the trail the most!
The last cave on our trail was the longest, the Indiana Caverns, which happens to be the longest cave in Indiana. The tour is about an hour and a half in length and includes an extensive walking tour and a boat ride on the cave lake. This was the most arduous journey through a cave that we had, but well worth the twisting and ducking to view the breath-taking caverns, diverse ecosystems and interesting array of ice age bones that dot the trails. On your way in and out of the cave, you’ll be amazed by the gorgeous waterfall, which makes the climb a little more sweet!
With all the cave, no matter what time of year, I suggest taking a light jacket with. Each cave typically has a steady temperature year-round of 52 to 57 degrees making it a bit chilly. While that may seem refreshing at first on a hot day, after about fifteen minutes, it can get quite cold.
Fall, of course, is the perfect time to end your cave trail adventure with a fun stop at the pumpkin patch! A short ride from Corydon is the Deere Farms Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch where along with pumpkins (naturally,) you’ll find a wide variety of family activities. Corn mazes, hay rides, pig races, barrel rides, a bouncy house and all sorts of festivities make it easy to spend the entire day. If you are in the mood for refreshments, the Apple Cider Slush is a must try!
The base admission includes the corn mazes, the pumpkin patch shuttle, animal farm tour, pig races,
bounce house, swings, tire mountain and the the downhill slide. All other activities have additional fees and of course concessions and pumpkins are priced separately, so do plan accordingly prior to heading out.
If you have time, Corydon also has historical attractions such as the Battle of Corydon site and the 1814 Capital Building, a lovely downtown square with art galleries and eclectic gift shops like the Old Town Store. There’s also plenty of food stops to be found including local fare, major chains, wineries and the Point Blank Brewing Company.
For more information on what to do and where to stay in Corydon Indiana, visit http://www.thisisindiana.org
One thing we can say with absolutely certainty, you’ll find Corydon, Indiana to be a welcoming community. Be sure you leave time to kick back, relax and soak in the natural beauty of this tranquil area!