The Cave of the Mounds is a spectacular limestone cave near the town of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. The Cave of the Mounds stands out not just for its beauty, but also its geological importance. While it’s not the most famous cave in US, it does possess one of the richest varieties of mineral formations in the area, a fact which has led many to call it “America’s Jewel Box.” There are guided tours of the cave almost every day of the year and they take you through the glittering galleries of crystallized minerals and give you some background into the history and geology behind the cave. Make sure to bring a sweater or light jacket as the cave maintains a steady temperature of around 50º throughout the year.
The area around the cave also merits a visit, especially if you like hiking. The whole area is a karst landscape so there are lots of hidden pools, sinkholes, and sprawling green forests. The best trail is probably the Karst View Trail which takes you past some of the area’s sinkholes and finishes at a fossil-hunt area that the kids will love. The whole trail is a little under a half a mile long and is appropriate for all levels.