Written by Anne Bandow
When it’s this hot, you can hibernate in air-conditioned isolation or melt into an exhausted puddle.
But there is an alternative. Beneath the steamy surface, nature hides relief in cool silent underground caverns. A visit to the Cave of the Mounds in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, will refresh both body and spirit on a hot summer day.
We recommend a jacket when you step below ground. If you forget one, we have sweatshirts for sale in our cave entrance building.
The actual temperature of the Cave of the Mounds is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, year-round. The cool cave air is protected from extremes of both summer and winter by thick layers of limestone rock.
“It’s the same principle builders apply to earth-sheltered homes,” said Anne Bandow, staff geologist. “That mass of stone would take a long time to heat up. It’s a very stable environment here – cool and moist and comfortable whatever the weather up above.”
While cooling off, visitors learn of nature’s underground marvels on the self-guided paced tours. High-domed chambers sparkling with crystals, mysterious winding passages and colorful mixes of minerals greet visitors at every turn.