Located in southern Indiana, just south of Louisville, Kentucky, The Binkley Cave System has an incredible history, which started with its first exploration of the caves in the 1920s.
In August this year, a major section of the cave, known as Indiana Caverns, was opened to the public after a huge cache of archeologically significant prehistoric remains were discovered.
“For the first time ever, this puts the Binkley Cave system, of which Indiana Caverns is a part, into the top 10 longest caves in the United States,” said the 66-year-old Indiana Caverns developer, Gary Roberson.
“The new, established survey length of 38.452 miles means this cave is now the ninth longest in the country. The team explored at least another 1,000 feet of walking virgin cave beyond the official survey, demonstrating that there is much more cave to be mapped.”
Known regions of the Binkley Cave System have been rapidly growing in length since March of this year, when Miller’s Cave, a relatively short cave in length, was connected to the system. This new entrance greatly shortened travel times to the far reaches of the cavern where most of the potential for new discoveries lay.
Indiana Speleological Survey cavers discovered the major new Wild Wild West section through a 500-metre-long low crawl -- much of it through water. During the last180 metres, cavers were forced to turn their head sideways with one ear in the water just to breathe. Finally, they popped out into the Wild Wild West, discovering a massive new underwater river system.
In such difficult conditions, it takes strong cavers at least three hours to travel less than 1,200 metres. The new survey takes the cave under large sandstone-capped ridges, raising cavers’ hopes for drier, more visitor-friendly passages above the underground river.
“These discoveries have drastically changed our understanding of the cave and its future potential,” Robson added. “It is now certain that the Binkley Cave system is one of the largest in the country and its ultimate length may be much greater than we know now – or ever dreamed.”
Beyond the region's stunning caves and caverns, Corydon visitors are provided with a variety of ways to enjoy Hoosier Hospitality, from nostalgic old-time ice cream parlors to the State Historic Site marking Corydon’s place as Indiana’s first state capital.
Downtown Corydon, Constitution Elm, a Civil War battlefield and re-enactment and tours of one of the nation’s oldest-standing early African American schoolhouses attracts history buffs from across North America.