There is more beneath the surface of Ohio than what meets its Midwest exterior! Hundreds of caves and caverns can be found across the state, offering a range of formations, sizes, and colors. Take in awe-inspiring collections of stalactites and stalagmites as you delve below the Earth's surface to the hidden wonders which await! If you’re ready to plan a trip to Ohio’s explorable caves and caverns, we’ve got all the information you need for a successful and exciting getaway.
Put-In Bay, OH
Located on a small two-by-four mile island, Put-In Bay offers a couple of great opportunities to explore caves and caverns. Other activities you can enjoy here include kayaking, golfing, hiking, fishing, and browsing the gift shops and candy store! This destination is as family-friendly as it gets!
Turn a caving adventure into a whole day of fun when you visit Perry’s Cave! This natural limestone wonder is 208 feet long and 165 wide, offering jaw dropping displays of stalactites and stalagmites. You can witness cave pearls as well as a rare underground lake. The average tour takes around twenty minutes, but don’t think that the fun ends once it’s over. Head to the Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center for some mini golf and gemstone mining. Check out the magical butterfly house and tour the antique car museum!
Located just a few minutes from Perry’s Cave, Crystal Cave is found in Heineman’s Winery, Ohio’s oldest family owned and operated winery since 1888. The walls of this cave are covered in a blueish mineral known as celestite and it boasts the world’s largest geode! The cave was actually discovered by workers while they were digging the well for the winery and the tourist attention it attracted was instrumental in keeping the winery afloat during the era of prohibition! Come tour the cave and unwind after your exploration with a full-bodied glass of wine and a glass of concord grape juice for the kids!
Where To Stay
When you visit Put-In Bay, you can camp at South Bass Island State Park. The Miller Ferry System can take you and your RV to the island so you can camp comfortably surrounded by the deep blue waters of Lake Erie. Only 11 of the sites offer full-service hookups, and the campground itself offers flush toilets, showers, and a dump station. A boat launch and fishing pier are also available.
Boasting the title of “America’s Most Colorful Caverns,” this popular tourist attraction offers a variety of tours and activities to entertain guests of all ages. The 35-acre facility offers the largest complex of cave systems in the state, making it a great destination to check out the wondrous caves and caverns that Ohio has to offer!
You’ll be shuttled to the original entrance of this historic cave before descending the 44 steps into the cavern where the guide will inform you of the cave’s history and you can check out the cave markings left by early explorers. This 45-minute tour is roughly 3/4 of a mile long.
Natural Wonder Tour
Opened in 2012, this cavern provides insights into the geology of cave structures and their formations. Before entering the sinkhole entrance, you will stroll through the picturesque terrain of Mingo Valley. This tour is approximately a mile long and takes about an hour.
Designed for visitors with limited mobility, the entire route of this tour is wheelchair accessible! Unlike the previous tours, this tour does require a reservation. During this 25-minute, 1/4 mile tour a knowledgeable guide will provide you with the history and geology of the cavern.
Where To Stay
Located a short 13 minute drive from Ohio Caverns, Oak Crest Campground offers a quiet and classic full-service camping experience great for relaxation! Convenient amenities featured include clean bathrooms, hot showers, and a general store. During your stay you can also enjoy a swimming pool, playground, and a 7-acre fishing pond!
Hocking Hills, OH
With over 2,356 acres, the Hocking Hills State Park features towering cliffs, deep gorges, and, of course, some amazing caves and caverns! When you visit here, you can also enjoy archery, fishing, picnicking, hiking, and biking. Three main cave structures are found in the park and they are connected by way of a comprehensive trail system. The caves are family-friendly, relatively easy to access, and free!
Old Man’s Cave
Of all the attractions in Hocking Hills, Old Man’s Cave draws the most attention. The cave’s name comes from a local hermit who once inhabited the dwelling, and who remains buried there to this day. The cave can be divided up into five main sections, offering something for everyone from amateur explorers to spelunking specialists! At the upper falls of Old Man’s Cave you can enjoy a stone bridge and a beautiful waterfall. A visitors center offers information at the trailhead leading to the cave.
Regarded as one of the most spectacular features of the whole park, Ash Cave is a brilliant display of hemlocks, towering beech trees, and flourishes of wildflowers. Because this cave is a horseshoe-shaped overhanging ledge, it is ideal for those fearful of heading underground to observe intricate rock formations. With its monumental size and impressive acoustic qualities, the spot is frequently utilized for gatherings such as Sunday worship, weddings, and even township meetings!
Eroded out of Blackhand sandstone, this structure forms a natural gothic-style shelter with high-arching windows, a sprawling corridor, 25’-tall ceilings, and colossal sandstone columns. The Rock House is a truly unique natural attraction that is unlike any other cave or cavern you’ll witness.
Where To Stay
Hocking Hills State Park offers on-site camping so you can be close to the caves and caverns in the area. The park offers 156 electric sites with paved pads that can accommodate up to a 50’ unit. During your stay here you can enjoy flush toilets, laundry facilities, a dump station, and a camp store.
With so many amazing caves and caverns available to you in Ohio, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to take in all the wonder and beauty that this state has to offer! Have you ever explored caves in Ohio before? Tell us about it in the comments.