Cave of the Mounds [http://caveofthemounds.com/
] is a natural limestone cave that was discovered back in 1939. It opened as an attraction in 1940.
According to WIKIPedia – “The Chicago Academy of Sciences considers the Cave of the Mounds to be “the significant cave of the upper Midwest” because of its beauty, and it is promoted as the “jewel box” of major American caves.”
I will say that, out of the caves that I’ve visited so far throughout the country, while it’s not overwhelming in size, the sheer beauty of this cave system is really outstanding. It’s almost my favorite cave at this point, although Carlsbad is second due to the enormity of the underground caverns.
There are many gorgeous clusters of chandelier stalagtites in a wonderful collection of colors, and there’s even a tight, winding path through naturally formed columns of rock, with shallow pools of water to either side. It was this particular feature that actually charmed me the most.
There are multiple areas that look like picture boxes cut out of the surrounding stone, revealing pools of water and truly beautiful collections of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as rather cthonic looking flowstone throughout.
I wish I could’ve taken my time a little more, and taken some more pictures, but the tour guide – although very friendly and knowledgeable, seemed to be rushing things once she was done speaking. She would finish talking, and then she’d turn the lights off without waiting to see if everybody was with her or not, which left me in the dark a few times.
One of the ‘picture boxes’
Huzzah for handy dandy flashlight attached to my keys! 🙂 Still, it would’ve been nice to try to get some pictures without gaping tourists milling about in front of them while she talked.
All this being said, the cave is a must see, in my opinion, if you’re out that way.
Do check it out. You won’t be disappointed.