There’s nothing quite like some 400 million year-old stone to reframe one’s conception of a “historical” tour, though the Blue Mounds area is historic in modern terms as well, representing the earliest settlement in Dane County (c. 1828). While a constant temperature of 50 degrees might be an easy way to beat the heat, it can seem downright balmy on a cold Wisconsin Groundhog’s Day. If you grew up in Southern Wisconsin, you have almost assuredly been to Cave of the Mounds; if you have not, I invite you to discover why this cave became one of the most popular tourist spots in this part of the state almost instantly upon its discovery and excavation in[masked].
As is often the case, Wikipedia says it best: “Cave of the Mounds, a natural limestone cave located near Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, United States, is named for two nearby hills called the Blue Mounds. It is located in the southern slope of the east hill. The cave's beauty comes from its many varieties of mineral formations called speleothems. The Chicago Academy of Sciences considers the Cave of the Mounds to be "the significant cave of the upper Midwest" because of its beauty, and it is promoted as the "jewel box" of major American caves. In 1987, the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service designated the cave as a National Natural Landmark.”
Tours are public, guided, and begin on the hour with or without you. So let’s aim for 2 pm on 2/2. I will be on the grounds a half-hour early or so to welcome visitors. The cost is $18.95 for adults, $10.95 for kids 12 & under.