This is a continuation of a series of posts of my Missouri Vacation which I took the first week of September. To start at the beginning go HERE. The rest of the posts, in consecutive order are HERE , HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
On day four of our Missouri vacation we went to Onondaga Cave Park. We were suppose to spend the entire day at this park and then retire in Rolla, Missouri for the evening, but we ended up just spending the morning there. The reason was we took the back roads to get there (because we were following our GPS for shortest distance) and it seemed to be no where near any civilization. It actually creeped me out a little. I don't know why, but as much as I love nature I still prefer some resemblance of some civilization somewhere...even if its just a mom and pop store. It just offers me reassurance that if there was an emergency there would be help I guess. But, because we didn't see any stores, restaurants, or gas stations, we were unable to pick up anything for a picnic lunch. Then when we got to the park I kept seeing all these bear warning signs..."Well, of course. Why not?" I thought. "We were after all in the middle of nowhere!". The lack of civilization and all the bear warning signs put me on edge, and I had no desire to hike any trails deep in the woods that day. 😁 Plus, we had no lunch and frankly, we were on our third hiking day and I was starting to tire of it and needed a break.
So we decided to just see the cave and head to the nearby town of Rolla for lunch.
We first stopped at the park office to buy our cave tour tickets. The admission to the park is free, but if you want to see the cave you have to buy a ticket. They cost $15.00 a piece for an adult and the tour was about an hour and half long. There are actually two caves in the park you can see: Cathedral Cave and Onondaga Cave. You can see both caves on the same day for $20. We chose to just see one cave as they were quite long in both time and distance.
Because we arrived right when the park office opened, after we bought our cave tour tickets we had some time to kill. The park ranger recommended we go on a short, nearby trail called the "Blue Heron Trail"
There is also a lovely picnic pavilion across the lake from the trail.
My husband and I had only been in a couple of caves before this tour which were must smaller in scale. This was by far the largest, longest, and most impressive caves we have ever seen. The caves we were in up to this point were the claustrophobic kind: you know, low ceilings, tight spaces, etc. This one was so huge the Titanic could have fit inside. I've never seen anything like it before.
Now even though we had an excellent guide who explained what everything in the cave was and how it was formed, I literally remember none of it. So if your expecting a scientific explanation of all the pictures I'm about to show you, you will be disappointed. I majored in English Literature and Theatre in college; science is not my gift! 😉
Onondaga Cave State Park is open all year long but the cave tours are only available from Mid April through Mid October.
Have a Great Day! Amy
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You got some wonderful cave pictures. What camera did you use? Were you allowed to use flash? I know some caves do, but the last one we went to last year (in South Dakota), did not and all my picture were non-usable. I should really read through my canon dslr manual...ReplyDelete
I totally understand that you didn't want to hike in a "bear" forest. I'd feel the same, especially when there aren't any other hikers around. Love the little lizard you spotted in the cave.
Thank you! We used an old Canon DSLR (need to upgrade!). Yes, we were allowed to use flash. This cave tour was much more lax in their rules then other caves we've been in. We appreciated that. I'm glad you feel the same as me regarding hiking in "bear" forests. This park was absolute desolate when we there as it was the off season. In fact, we were the only ones on the tour! I wasn't comfortable at all hiking when no one else was around.Delete
Wow! What a cool place to visit. My husband actually just saw a bear on his way home tonight, I'm afraid to go outside now haha! I visited a few caverns when I was younger but would love to visit a new one, thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
pumps and push-ups
Thanks Brooke! That's exciting your husband saw a bear. We've had many bear sightings where I live too, but I've never seen one; and I've lived here over 25 years.Delete
What a beautiful park! And all the cave formations are amazing!ReplyDelete
Thanks Laura! It certainly was the most amazing cave we've ever been to!Delete
This is fascinating. I've been in a few caves and always find it intriguing. In New Zealand I went in one that has black cave crabs living in them. That salamander is nothing compared to those creepy creatures. They weren't small either! In the UK we have the Cheddar caves which are also fascinating.ReplyDelete
Ooh, those cave crabs sounds creepy! I'm so glad I didn't run into any of those.Delete