Folklore, History, and Nature’s Beauty at Indian Echo Caverns
We had so much fun in Hershey, PA area that when it was time to leave my 4 year old protested and requested “one adventure more”. Luckily for us an unexpected turn lead us right to Indian Echo Caverns, a limestone cave which took over a million years to create by the erosive properties of water.
In reading about the caverns we found out that I learned that it is normal for wildlife to seek shelter in the caverns. Animals such as bats, bears,and raccoons just to name a few. And yet, we couldn’t wait to tour them!
Though our sudden visit in no way prepared us for the 52 degrees inside the caverns, we did enjoy the reprieve from the heat and sun.
The attraction area has a pretty neat set up I was surprised to find out. Nothing really fancy, but fu and perfect for a family wanting to spend some time, maybe even have a picnic there. With a picnic area, a small playground, and even a petting – which really only consists of one of two animals…say two goats a sheep, and a chicken or two – it still was enough to keep my little ones entertained while we waited for our tour group to be called to head down to the caves.
At first I feared that the kids might be a tad frightened to be walking around in the dark caves, and maybe that was also part of the fun I have to admit, but there were a lot of tour groups walking around when we were there, so there really wasn’t much of an opportunity to be scared (darn). Though there was one moment when our tour guide, in wanting to show us what the caves looked like to early settlers who first discovered them, turned off all the small lights in the area and had us all stand in the darkest darkness I have ever stood in ever. It was really cool, but my little ones were not amused at all by it.
I have to say, our tour guide was pretty great at getting the group, kids included, engaged through story telling, both fable and true. We all really enjoyed listening to the story of a treasure found on the caves, currently displayed in the gift shop and that of William Wilson, also known as The Pennsylvania Hermit, who lived in the caves till his death in 1821.
But aside from the folklore and the often touristy feel of the place, there were moments when I was able to just step back and really admire the natural beauty of the caverns. Even with the lights beaming on the natural formed structures, there were certain elements that I could tell remained untainted and so pure that they made me take pause.
Others fall in love with the caverns so much that they opt to get married in them, a service that the Indian Echo Caverns helps to facilitate. Of course, they also allow for school and girl/boy scout groups to come in and explore the caverns as well. The cavern tour is less than an hour long.
We didn’t get to see any bats, bears, or raccoons, but I still thought this was a perfect way to end our adventurous trip to Hershey. We came with a plan to visit Hershey Park, and walked away with two pretty fun discoveries: Chocolate World and Indian Echo Caverns. All these elements really helped to make our last August road trip adventures a memorable one.
The obligatory tourist photo proving that we were here.
For more information on Indian Echo Caverns in Hummelstown, PA, as well as admission and upcoming events schedule, please visit their website at IndianEchoCaverns.com
For more photos of our visit to Indian Echo Caverns, please visit our Flickr page: