Ohio Caverns


Useful Information

Location: 2210 State Route 245 East, West Liberty, OH 43357.
On State Route 245, 7 km east of West Liberty, Ohio. 48 km NE of Dayton, Ohio.
From Dayton: I-70, exit 52B, US 68 North 38 km, Route 507 East 5 km.
(40.238185, -83.696909)
Open: MAY to SEP daily 9-17.
OCT to APR daily 10-16.
Closed Thanksgiving, 25-DEC.
[2022]
Fee: Natural Wonder Tour: Adults USD 20, Children (5-12) USD 10, Children (0-4) free.
Groups (20+): Adults USD 15, Children (5-12) USD 8.
Historic Tour: Adults USD 20, Children (5-12) USD 10, Children (0-4) free.
Groups (20+): Adults USD 15, Children (5-12) USD 8.
Combo: Adults USD 30, Children (5-12) USD 15, Children (0-4) free.
Groups (20+): Adults USD 25, Children (5-12) USD 13.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=4,814 m, VR=31 m.
Guided tours: Natural Wonder Tour: L=1,600 m D=50 min, St=60.
Historic Tour: L=1,600 m D=50 min, St=38.
Combo Tour: L=3,200 m, D=110 min.
V=60,000/a [2011]
Photography: allowed, video not allowed
Accessibility: only on Limestone Tour
Bibliography: Keith D Wheeland (2005): Ohio Caverns, Nitany Grotto News Vol 51 No 2 Nov 2005 p 34
Address: Ohio Caverns, 2210 East State Route 245, West Liberty, OH 43357, Tel. +1-937-465-4017, E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1897 discovered by Robert Noffsinger, a farmhand.
1897 opened to the public for lantern-lit, self-guided tours.
1925 new discoveries made.
1925 developed and opened to the public as a show cave.
1971 Tony Oldham's visit.
2007 begin of construction of new trails.
2012 two new cave tours opened to the public.

Description

Described as the largest and most beautiful cave in Ohio, it is noted for the exquisite crystal-white speleothems. The tourist route goes so near to the formation that two guides are employed on each trip to protect the formations. Since the ceiling is generally low, a trench has been dug in the floor in many places so that the visitor does not have to stoop. It also provides a good view of the flat bedding plane passages which are visible in many parts of the cave. A one way tour, exited via an artificial tunnel, on a flight of 40 stair steps to the surface.


Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.


The Ohio Caverns in West Liberty was discovered in 1897 by a farm hand. After heavy rain a 10 m deep sinkhole opened up. The cave visits started immediately, when visitors took lantern-lit, self-guided tours. The cave was developed and opened as a show cave in 1925, and the original tour is still offered after almost 90 years.

In 2012 an entrance through the sinkhole was opened to the public and the tours were redesigned. One of the new tours provides more historical information about the cave. The Limestone Tour is shorter and allows access for the disabled, which is pretty unusual in caves, but it is offered only after appointment. The Lantern Tour is also by appointment only. During winter only one tour is offered which is called Winter Tour, it includes highlights of the Natural Wonder Tour and Historic Tour plus a section which is not toured during the summer.