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
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.
Please report any broken links or recommendations
Send comments to
RRSS@caves.org. Last updated 02/02/2006
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