Caves and caverns aren’t uncommon throughout southern Indiana, but the squire Boone Caverns are unlike any other. Everyday, one million gallons of water flush through this large underground cave system. It’s taken centuries for the gorgeous limestone and calcite formations to fully come together as they’re seen today. During warm weather months, tours of the caverns are available every 30 minutes. Each tour last approximately one hour and shows visitors some of the advanced stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones that are up to 90 feet underground. Mauckport, Indiana is right on the Kentucky border, only a three hour drive for a day trip from Indianapolis.
The Squire Boone Caverns were discovered in 1790 when the Boone brothers were on a hunting trip. After crossing the Ohio River, they noticed a small waterfall on the hillside. A few decades later, Squire returned to the waterfall with the intention of transforming it into a water powered gristmill. Later, it was discovered that the small waterfall leads back for miles into the area that’s now Squire Boone Caverns. Today, that very gristmill operates and produces cornmeal and grits. Over the decades, the 18-footwaterwheel has been destroyed and rebuilt due to the destruction caused by several fires. The last time the gristmill was reconstructed was in 1975.
A highlight on the tour through Squire Boone Caverns comes in the form of a surprise ending. The gravesite of Squire Boone himself is inside the cave. A tombstone and walnut casket are displayed, and tour guides explain the family’s place in Indiana history. In the 1970s, the believed remains of Squire Boone were exumed and placed into a new resting place.
After a day of spelunking at Squire Boone Caverns, many visitors head over to Boone Village. A handful of Indiana shopping destination in the village sell specialty items, gifts and crafts. Guests can also participate in crafts of thier own, including candle dipping and lye soap making. The nearby bakery and the candy shop are shops to visit for delectable treats like homemade fudge and rock candy.
Several other notable attractions and day trip destinations are located nearby the Squire Boone Caverns. O’Bannon Woods State Park is another landmarker where visitors go to learn about and appreciate their Hoosier history. One county east of Mauckport is where the legendary Howard family built more than 3,000 steamboats to sail the Ohio River. An Indiana museum was created in their century old mansion home, now called the Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville. Day trip destinations along the route to Mauckport include the Lost River in Orangeville, Marengo Cave in Marengo and Hoosier National Forest in Bedford, among many others.
A day trip from Indianapolis to Mauckport only requires a tank of gas and an adventurous outlook. a small admission fee is charged for the tour through Squire Boone Caverns, and sometimes there’s a parking fee. The attraction is open all year long, and tours are most frequent from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Squire Boone Caverns
100 Squire Boone Road Southwest
Mauckport, Indiana 47142