BELLEVUE, Ohio (WJW)—Seneca Caverns opened to the public in 1933 and is one of Ohio’s largest underground caverns. It’s also one of America’s most fascinating geological wonders.
Two boys discovered it in 1872 while hunting rabbits. Their dog chased a rabbit into a brush pile, and they ended up falling through a hole that led to the first level of the cave, Seneca Caverns owner Denise Bell said.
Years later, the then-landowners Don and Fannie Bell opened the cave, but it wasn’t easy.
“We had glacial deposits, mud in the first two levels of the cave. So they went down and dug out the clay, bucket by bucket, forming a bucket brigade,” Bell said.
That took several years and thousands of hours of labor.
Now, the cavern reaches the underground water table. Tours take about an hour.
“The lowest the tour goes is into the seventh level, which is 110 feet below the surface. Right now, the water table is just above the seventh level so we’re going down about 90 to 95 feet, and that’s where you get to see the crystal-clear flowing stream,” Bell said.
On the surface, there is a sluice, where you can pan for gemstones, minerals and arrowheads.
And best of all, it’s only a One Tank Trip.
Maps of Seneca Caverns and more stops:
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