On a recent trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania our family visited the Indian Echo Caverns. These caverns are located 3 miles west of Hersheypark and are a year round attraction.
The 45 minute tour is educational and includes approximately five different rooms of the cave. The tour starts out at the gift shop, where you purchase the tickets. The ticket prices are: $13 for adults (age 12 plus), $11 for seniors age 62 and older, $7 per child, age 3 to 11 and free for children under 2 years old.
The guide then leads the group down seventy-one stairs to the cavern entrance. The entrance landing is a quiet, wooded site along the Susquehanna River. The first people to discover these caverns were the Susquhanook Indians, who inhabited this area of Pennsylvania over 300 years ago.
At first, you are taken through a narrow passageway which opens to the “Grand Ballroom”. The Grand Ballroom has many rock formations that were pointed out by our tour guide. We spotted an Easter bunny a salt and pepper shaker and a flying dragon. The most interesting formation was the “upside down New York City”, which hung from the cave ceiling.
Another highlight of the tour was the “Wedding Chapel”. This room had wooden planks installed to allow visitors to walk over a crystal clear natural pond. The cave pond was created from rain water which seeps through the earth above.
The pond contained unpolluted water and was striking to look at. The water in the pond only looked two or three feet deep but the tour guide said it was actually nine feet deep. This area is called the wedding chapel because couples can exchange their wedding vows there.
The cavern’s temperature remains a comfortable 52 degrees all year long. The entire cave site is holed up to electricity and is well lit. There are no age restrictions but I recommend that children under four refrain from the tour, due to the sometimes slippery cave floor. Certain areas of the caverns have dripping rocks, which make small puddles. It’s a good idea to wear sneakers or hiking shoes.
There is one part of the tour when the guide leads the group into a small dead end room and turns off the lights to demonstrate how the early explorers navigated the cave hundreds of years ago. It was a thrill for the children to be totally in the dark.
If you arrive early for the tour or have some time to spend afterwards, there is a playground for the kids on the premises. The playground is located between the gift shop and the tour’s starting area.
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Indian Echo Caverns and plan on visiting other caverns in the future.