Cave of the Mounds is in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Visitors to the cave will enjoy touring the cave and its various activities. Cave of the Mounds gets its name from the Blue Mounds. The West Mound is 1, 716 feet and is the highest point of Southern Wisconsin.
The East Mound is only 1,489 feet. The Cave can be found below the East Mound’s Southern Slope.
The Cave of the Mounds was discovered by accident in 1939 when limestone quarriers blasted into the cave from the Brigham Farm quarry. The quarrying stopped and was never picked up again. The blast opened the limestone cave that was over twenty feet high and opened into other galleries and room that contained many mineral formations.
The Cave was closed to preserve it until lights, and wooden paths were installed. The cave was opened to the public om 1940. The wooden paths were soon replaced with concrete walkways. A big stone building was erected to replace the cave’s original entry and theatrical lighting was employed to make the colors and shapes of the cave stand out. Picnic areas, rock gardens, walking trails, a visitor’s center and gift shops were later developed and opened at the Cave of the Mounds.
Things to Do
The Cave of the Mounds offers activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Cave Tour-Guided tours are offered daily all year round. Visitors get to enjoy the Cave’s constant temperature of fifty degrees all year. This make the cave cool in the summer and warn during the winter. The tours are taken on lighted and paved walkways that make it easy for people of any age. Visitors will be impressed with the amazing crystallized rock formations and sparkling pools.
Gemstone and Fossil Dig- The Cave offers visitors the chance the sift for fossils and gemstone at the Quarry’s Edge Mining Sluice. The mining rough bags are about three to five pounds and include the choice of real fossils, pirate’s treasure, premium gemstones, or arrowhead mixtures.
The Cave of the Mounds also offers a new attraction: Quarry’s Edge Fossil Dig ad Crystal Quest. This attraction provides children the chance to act as the paleontologist and dig for fossils and treasure at on the three dig sites.
Geologic Timeline- Cave of the Mounds offers an enormous recreated Geologic Timeline that visitors can follow while examining the geologic processes that have occurred and forms of life that have developed and evolved throughout the Earth’s life.
Discovery Center- The Brigham Farm barn has been renovated into a Discovery Center for visitors to learn about cave formations, rock specimens, and fossils through displays.
Hiking and Biking Trails- Cave of the Mounds is linked the extensive bike trail system of Wisconsin. It can be found off of the Military Ridge bike trail. Nature trail surround the Cave and wander through oak savanna and prairie areas. Visitors can walk these trails exploring and searching for evidence of the cave below.
Gardens- The Cave of the Mounds area offers visitors the opportunity to explore the ongoing restoration of the savanna and prairie gardens. Visitors are also invited to investigate the rain and rock gardens that showcase perennial flowers that grow among the various rock formations. All the plants and flowers in the gardens have attracted a wealth of different butterflies for visitors to study and enjoy.
Cave of the Mounds offers several educational opportunities for students.
School and Youth Programs- Students are offered the Cave Tour as the main component of their field trips, but teachers can ask that other programs be added to the tour.
· SpeleoQUEST- This program offers the chance to learn how caverns, limestone, and speleothems develop and form. It includes a tour of the Cave above ground.
· PaleoTALES- Students learn through hands-on experience about how fossils are identified, discovered and classified.
· RocksROCK- Students learn about the Earth’s basic components and how to identify the different minerals, rocks, and gemstones.
· Geo Journey- Students are instructed in the basic principles of geology including fossil formations and rock types, and get to explore the huge geologic timeline.
· Diggings to Discovery- Students get to play archaeologist and investigate the cultural history of Cave of the Mounds.
· Mound Bound Orienteering- Students get to learn the basic principles of using a compass for finding their way and navigation.
Cave of the Mounds offers a snack bar that is located inside the Visitor Center. Some of the offerings include Fiddleheads coffee, sandwiches, chips, popcorn, cookies, ice cream, rock candy, and hot or cold beverages. There are also picnic areas on the ground for visitors to use.
Check out the unique Rock Shop before leaving the Cave.
2975 Cave of the Mounds Road, Blue Mounds, WI 53517, website, Phone: 608-437-3038