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Know your Wisconsin: Cave of the Mounds

BLUE MOUNDS (WKOW) — Located just 20 miles west of Madison rests the Cave of the Mounds — one of Wisconsin’s national landmarks.

The area was accidentally discovered on August 4, 1939 when workers blasted into the cave as they were removing limestone from a quarry. The explosion revealed a limestone cave more than 20 feet high, which  opened into other rooms and galleries — all containing numerous mineral formations.

“It began forming two million years ago, and it is continuing to form today. So it’s an actively forming cave. All of the crystal formations that you’ll see here underground are still growing. They’re still actively growing,” said site spokesman Joe Klimczak.

Formed out of natural limestone, the cave has been a destination for visitors and explorers for more than 75 years. The cave hosts daily tours where people can meander on paved, lighted walkways to experience the underground world.

“The limestone here is 400 million years old. So some of the features of the cave, the fossils that we see in the cave, are 400 million years old. It’s really a slice of Wisconsin history way back in time,” Klimczak said.

He says the Cave of the Mounds is the premier cave in the upper midwest and the jewel box of America’s major show caves.

“It’s a whole other experience, a whole different world when you go down inside the earth, you see those crystal formations, those still pools, and you’re just taking a trip back in time. Literally, because this is…you can’t’ tell from being down here what age we’re in!” Klimczak said.

The attraction is located at 2975 Cave of the Mounds Rd, Blue Mounds, WI 53517.

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