An underground jigsaw puzzle of limestone, a river with incredibly pure water, registered as a Natural Landmark in 1933, and a stake in local history. Located just south of Bellevue, Ohio, the Seneca Caverns, also known as “The Earthquake Crack” or the “Caviest Cave in the USA,” is the very place.
Discovered in 1872 by two boys chasing rabbits, the caverns have been studied over the years and have proven unique time and time again. Although included in the cavern system that runs the length of the state, these seven levels were formed when the limestone collapsed due to the loss of mineral deposits, causing a jigsaw-like pattern between the “floor” and “ceiling.”
Below the surface, about 110 feet, you will find the “Ole Mist’ry River,” with water so pure that it is pumped directly to the surface to provide visitors with a refreshing drink. The bottom-most depth is unknown and there is reason to believe that this river may connect with other subterranean streams in the area. Rumor has it that bottles with messages were thrown into the stream, and four years later one surfaced at Blue Hole in Castalia.
Electrically lit, walking shoes and a light jacket are suggested, as the caverns have been kept as close to their original state as possible and maintain a cool 54° F/ 12.2° C. The caverns are not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers, and backpacks are not permitted. There is an outdoor shaded picnic area, and group rates are available with an advanced reservation.
Month of May: Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day: Daily 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
September through mid-October: Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Closed November through April.
Last tour departs one hour before closing.
Hannah Taulbee – Heidelberg Student and SIEDC Intern