Last Wednesday we took a Miata field trip from the End of the Rainbow Valley to Niagara Cave, one of the top ten caves in the U.S. located in Harmony, Minnesota about two hours away.
Natureman had recently visited here with the Land Stewardship Project to learn about soil conservation and the effects of these recents rains in regard to water pollution. He returned impressed by what he saw and knew I would enjoy visiting this limestone cave. How well he knows me!
There are ‘a lot’ of stairs to go down. Our first stop was to see where 3 farmer’s pigs went missing and were discovered down a hole, the cave opening, where they had slid down some 60 feet. They survived their fall and the cave was discovered as a result of it.
Our young guide Wallace gave a very informative tour including reminders regarding slick walkways and low clearance areas. Showing worm paths, Trilobite fossils and more while taking us through passageways where water constantly seeps in, trickling down the rock leaving a history of 450 million years.
Wallace pointed out the layers of sediment proof of the cave’s age which we witnessed during our 500 step descent. That’s a lot of stairs in a one mile walk. One half a mile in and a half mile back. Not a prescription for those with asthma, difficulty with stairs, health conditions including pregnancy, etc…
The constant 48 degrees warrants a sweatshirt / jacket with/wo a hood. Good walking shoes are also recommended.
There are less than a dozen stops along the way along with benches for those who need to catch their breath/ view one of the scenic areas such as the wedding chapel (R) where many couples actually tie the knot.
Cathedral high ceilings help give it its name.
A waterfall, Niagara, is fed by the underground stream and falls some 2 stories down.
One traverses both wide and narrow passages, low ceilings and cathedral spaces where Stalactites, stalagmites and ribbon bacon are pointed out…
It is spectacular to experience all Niagara cave’s magnificence of rock and mineral formations. A bit costly but worth it in our opinion especially since 2015 it is totally powered by solar panels.
Besides the cave tour there is a nice gift shop, miniature golf course, picnic area and even a playground for the kiddos on well kept grounds.
A good time was had by all…