Developers "shed light" on Harrison Co. cave - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Developers "shed light" on Harrison Co. cave

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CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB) -- A new tourist attraction is about to open in Southern Indiana.  Some in Harrison County are preparing to open the 11th Largest Cavern in the country.

Experts say it has been around millions of years, but it is just now getting ready to be open for guests.

"This is a cave that's near and dear to my heart," said Gary Roberson of the Indiana Speleological Society.

Roberson, cloaked in clay-colored mud covered boots, a hard hat and jeans said he, the construction crew and other developers were not afraid to get their hands and bodies dirty. Developers say they live to discover what lies beneath.

"We have been working in this cave since 1967 but only since close to three years ago did we discover that this part of the cave was found," said Roberson.

That discovery was part of a nearly 40-mile-long underground trail, soaked with remnants of history.

"We are standing in Big Bone Mountain," said Roberson, as he showed off the main part of the discovery. "This part of the cave is full of Ice Age bones."

Those soggy bones are part of the "Virgin Territory," the connection between the Binkley and Blowing Hole Cave systems. 

"Most people besides cave explorers haven't had a chance to get in here before," Roberson said.

They say it is something the average person could have stepped on top of every single day without knowing. But this year, that is going to change.

"There's nothing cookie cutter about opening a cave," Roberson said.

"That's probably why there's only been two or three opened up in the last 25 to 30 years."

Roberson and others from the Indiana Speleological Society are helping to open a passageway so the rest of the world can see what lies beneath Harrison County, Indiana.

"It's an expensive proposition," Roberson said. "In this cave, everything had to be carried in by hand."

Those objects include a steel spiral staircase extending around 90 feet in the air, bags of concrete and even an 800 pound boat. They say a safe entry was not an easy undertaking.

"We had our first boats come in here through a zip line, we had a lot of people help carry it into where the boat ride will be," said Roberson.

Roberson said several volunteers came together on March 30 to assist in the process. He said they plan illuminate around 2,000 feet of the tunnel.

"It has waterfalls, it has a boat ride, it has ice age bones, it has a lot of formations, heights and depths, the kind of things that make a cave exciting for a person to go through," said Roberson.

The tour will include a boat and walking section, 1,000 feet in the water and 1,000 feet on dry (moist) underground.

Right now developers say they are aiming to open in May. For more information, visit the Indiana Caverns website, Facebook or Twitter.

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