RRSS - Illinois Caverns

     For those that haven't gone before, Illinois Caverns is a wild cave that has about five miles of passage mapped by the Windy City Grotto. Most of the cave's main canyon passage is tall enough for walking but there are plenty of side passages like "Marvin's Misery" for the adventurous crawlers. There are several large breakdown rooms that you can scramble over. If you travel deep enough you can Click for Full Size Illinois Caverns Map find many different kinds of formations, a Rimstone River and a few waterfalls. The "Lunch Room" is especially well decorated but direct access to it has been restricted to protect it. Part of the cave had been commercial in the past so there are a few stairs, sidewalks and ladders near the entrance. The old lights have rusted away long ago. The cave temperature is a moist 60 deg. all year long so it's wise to dress appropriately. There's a small knee deep stream running most of the length of the cave which has never known to flood. It's your choice if you want to wade through the water or climb and slide along the upper caves edge.
      The cave is now owned by the state and operated by the Department of Natural Resources. Near the cave's entrance there is ample parking next to a pavilion and there are seperate mens and womens changing areas & outhouses. The entrance to the cave has been upgrades to a steep concrete staircase with handrails. At the bottom of the stairs there is ample room to turn on your lights as your eyes get adjusted to the darkness in the twilight zone.
      The cave is about two hours South of Springfield near Waterloo. It is a great beginner cave with something for everyone. Groups of four minimum and up to 15 or so are practicle with proper supervision. Larger numbers become unmanagable and could be broken up into seperate smaller tours. Brochures with maps are available.

Illinois Caverns (IDNR Link)

Illinois Caverns (ISGS Link)

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e-mail comments Send comments to RRSS@caves.org. Last updated 02/02/2006

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