Cave of the Mounds – National Natural LandmarkCave of the Mounds – National Natural Landmark
Something Old Below Ground
Over a million years ago, deep beneath the ground, Cave of the Mounds began to form. Water gradually dissolved the rock to create this magical underground world. A tour through Cave of the Mounds is an experience you and your family will never forget. In fact, people often return to the Cave again and again, bringing back family or friends to share in this amazing underground experience.
The United States Department of the Interior designated Cave of the Mounds a National Natural Landmark because the site possesses “exceptional value as an illustration of the nation’s natural heritage and contributes to a better understanding of man’s environment”. Commonly referred to as the “jewel box” of America’s major caves, for the variety and delicacy of its formations, Cave of the Mounds is recognized by the Chicago Academy of Sciences as “the significant cave of the upper Mid-West.”
A guided tour of the cave takes you past a varied collection of colorful stalactites, stalagmites, columns and other formations. You and your family can experience this natural wonder from the comfort of paved and lighted walkways. Their experienced guides will delight you with tales of the history, science and imagery of the various caverns and passageways you walk through.
Something New Above Ground
The experience doesn’t stop below ground. Above ground, visitors to the Cave will find an array of activities to keep young and old alike entertained. Visit one of the most unique shops around – Their Rock Shop contains hundreds of unique minerals, fossils and gemstones. Many are hand crafted into beautiful items for your home. Or, try their new Gem Mining Sluice and learn to identify gemstones and fossils while filing your pockets with your newly discovered treasure.
You can enjoy something to eat in our beautiful picnic area. Bring your own food, or buy something tasty from the Snack Bar. Afterwards, you can walk the grounds and enjoy the rock gardens, prairie and savannah areas. Identify flowers and watch butterflies float past your eyes!
Come and experience Cave of the Mounds! Both above and below ground you will find something to amaze and delight the entire family.
Guided tours of Cave of the Mounds are available year round. They also offer a variety of group and school programs.
The Cave is located just 20 miles west of Madison, and only a few miles from Mount Horeb, off U.S. Highways 18/151. Located at 2975 Cave of the Mounds Road, Blue Mounds, WI 53517.
Cave of the Mounds-National Natural Landmark offers the following summer programs for families and youth:
Youth Service Days
1st & 3rd Thursdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn about invasive species, endangered species, trail maintenance, and seed collection all while helping to beautify the grounds around the Mounds! FREE for youth ages 14 and older and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will need to bring a sack lunch. Pre-registration and parental consent required. Limit 10 youth per day.
2nd & 4th Thursdays from Memorial Day though Labor Day — 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Fossil discovery program for families with children ages 4 and up includes special fossil tour and authentic fossil collection to keep! $3 with the purchase of a Cave Tour; children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is recommended. Limit 20 persons per day.
Every Friday from Memorial Day through Labor Day — 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Cave education program for families with children ages 4 and up includes interactive presentation and outdoor tour. FREE with the purchase of a Cave Tour; children must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is recommended. Limit 20 persons per day.