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Twin Caves Boat-Bound Tours Open for First Time Since 2020

Twin Caves Tour1.jpg
Tim Jagielo
Tour guides with the Spring Mill State Park guide these metal boats along 500 feet through the narrow cavern, pointing out 'local' life, such as blind salamanders.

Spring Mill State Park's underground cave tours offers glimpse of subterranean life

The Twin Cave boat tours at Spring Mill State Park are running again, in another example of life returning to 'normal' during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The tours started for the season on Memorial Day, and continue until mid-July.

Up to eight passengers travel 500 feet into the Shawnee Cave System where they learn about the animals that live there, and the cave itself. The caves are made from limestone, an important export of the area.

Wildlife include blind fish and salamanders and also bats.

Hundreds usually took part every weekend, said Interpretive Naturalist Sheree Belt.

“(In) 2020 we are shut down because of COVID; 2021 was staffing issues," Belt said. "We just couldn't find enough people to run the boats. So we're happy to be back full staff here this summer.”

She hopes visitors can learn the importance of cave conservation as they explore.

“We hope that they learn how delicate these ecosystems are, and how everything we're doing up here affects that world and how this all works together. And we need to balance our world in a healthy way, by watching what we're doing up here.”

She said garbage and chemicals can make their way down to the cave system.

WNIN's Tim Jagielo will produce a longer-form feature piece with video this week. It will be online and on-air.