Did you know that underneath fields of farmland in southeastern Ohio lies an enchanted natural world that began forming millions of years ago? The Ohio Caverns are literally one of our state’s most glorious hidden gems.
Located in West Liberty, OH (an easy and scenic 90-minute drive from Cincinnati), the Ohio Caverns are just waiting to be explored!
The Ohio Caverns are a great day adventure for families of all ages. During the summer season, three tours are offered: The Historic Tour, The Natural Wonders Tour and the Combination Tour, which combines both the Historic and Natural Wonders tours. For guests with limited mobility (or younger families) Ohio Caverns offers the Limestone Tour in the summer season with advanced reservations.
We opted for the Natural Wonders Tour, a 45-minute tour perfect for families. The tour entered through a sinkhole (!) and took us through a mile of winding cave 130 feet underground. On this tour, we were provided with a geology lesson while viewing the wide variety of beautiful white crystals and colorful rust formations.
Along the way, my kids were speechless at the natural beauty surrounding them: the colorful formations, stalactites and stalagmites. The “Crystal King” formation was incredible, and it’s mind-blowing to think it’s a link to a long-ago past.
My kids absolutely love The Cave exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center, and were delighted to explore Ohio Caverns. We wore jackets and sneakers (the caves are a cool and damp 54 degrees year round) and Harvey brought his headlamp. My kids were better prepared for the caving experience that I was: the narrow spaces (some of the clearings are just over 5 feet tall!), darkness and wet conditions were a bit challenging at times. (But be assured: everything at Ohio Caverns is incredibly safe and run in a very professional and mindful manner.)
After the cave tours, we explored the gorgeous grounds of the Ohio Caverns. There are plenty of activities, including picnic shelters, a playground and the star of the show: a gem-mining sluice. This activity was a huge hit with all four of my kids, who panned for treasures while I took in the breathtaking views.
Ohio is full of surprises, and this is perhaps most evident with the Ohio Caverns. The juxtaposition of this colorful, other-worldly land that’s literally beneath Ohio’s rolling fields and farmland… it’s truly something spectacular. The beauty of our state never ceases to amaze me, and exploring new and unexpected places with my family is always a treat.