You Won’t Believe These 8 Underground Wonders: Journey to Caves Near Cleveland

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

Let’s dive into the captivating world of the caves near Cleveland, where we uncover Ohio’s remarkable subterranean treasures. Each cave, from the sandstone shelter, Mary Campbell Cave, to the awe-inspiring Ash Cave, offers an incredible story etched in stone. Prepare for an unforgettable exploration beneath the underground landscapes of Ohio.

Mary Campbell Cave


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Trek through Ohio’s Gorge Park to find Mary Campbell Cave, an intriguing sandstone and shale rock shelter. Found 37 miles south of Cleveland, the cave was formed by natural erosion, and tells the story of Mary Campbell who was abducted by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. The captivating Gorge Trail will guide you to this historic spot, offering both an awesome hike and a journey through time.

Deer Lick Cave


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Journey back in time with a visit to Deer Lick Cave, a unique rock overhang just 25 minutes from Cleveland, formed millions of years ago from ancient oceanic sands. The site, adorned with seasonal gifts from flowering trees to winter icicles, allows hikers to witness white-tailed deer seeking out embedded salt in the Berea sandstone, a spectacle that gave the cave its name.

Crystal Cave


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Venture two hours west of Cleveland to discover Crystal Cave, the world’s largest geode tucked away on South Bass Island, Lake Erie. This limestone cave, adorned with striking blue celestite crystals, once played savior to the Heineman Winery during Prohibition through cave tours. With crystals up to 3 feet wide, this magnificent geological masterpiece offers an unforgettable journey into the depths of the earth.

Ohio Caverns


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Journey 180 miles from Cleveland to explore Ohio Caverns, the state’s largest cave system, adorned with intricate crystal formations. Whether embarking on the Historic Tour from the site of the cave’s discovery or marveling at “The Crystal King” on the Natural Wonder tour, you’ll witness a subterranean spectacle, featuring 90% active stalactite and stalagmite formations, all part of an ancient, unseen glacier river path.

Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center


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Deep beneath the surface of South Bass Island lies Perry’s Cave, a limestone treasure hidden 52 feet underground. Discovered in 1813 by local hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, this registered Ohio Natural Landmark now hosts frequent tours, unveiling its captivating stalactites, stalagmites, and a rare underground lake. Beyond the cave, explore gem mining, mini golf, and a butterfly sanctuary for a memorable day of family fun.

Seneca Caverns

Seneca Caverns - Caves near Cleveland
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Head 75 miles from downtown Cleveland into the underground wonders of Seneca Caverns. Originally discovered in 1872 and later expanded by Don Bell to reveal an underground river, the caverns offer guided tours through an array of fascinating passageways and rooms. Experience the thrill of exploration, and the beauty of nature’s craftsmanship, and take home a memento from the gift shop in this unique subterranean playground.

Olentangy Caverns

Olentangy Caverns, just two hours southwest of Cleveland, offers a unique exploration of natural caves spread across three levels. Created millions of years ago by an underground river, and once a sanctuary for the Wyandotte Indians, these caverns invite you on a historic journey. The site also features a petting zoo, a minigolf course, a treasure maze, and a museum filled with fascinating local artifacts.

Ash Cave


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Experience the mesmerizing spectacle of Ash Cave nestled in Hocking Hills, famed as Ohio’s largest recess cave. Walk the quarter-mile gorge flanked with hemlocks, beech trees, and vibrant wildflowers to reach the overhanging ledge and cave shelter, named for the large pile of ashes found by early settlers. With picnic facilities, wheelchair-friendly trails, and its scenic views, Ash Cave makes for a delightful day trip destination.

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