Cave of The Mounds National Natural Landmark


Cave of the Mounds, a natural limestone cave located near Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, United States, is named for two nearby hills called the Blue Mounds. It is located in the southern slope of the east hill. The cave’s beauty comes from its many varieties of mineral formations called speleothems. The Chicago Academy of Sciences considers the Cave of the Mounds to be “the significant cave of the upper Midwest” because of its beauty, and it is promoted as the “jewel box” of major American caves. In 1987, the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service designated the cave as a National Natural Landmark. (Wikipedia)

2975 Cave of the Mounds Road Blue Mounds WI 53517
Seasonal. See website.
43.017788 -89.815609
  • Parking
  • Picnic Area
  • Gardens
  • Scenic Overlook
Fee for one-hour guided cave tour
Local Knowledge:
On August 4, 1939, Cave of the Mounds was discovered accidentally when limestone quarry workers blasted a section of the quarry and exposed an opening to the cave. (Wikipedia)



  • Regarding Cave of the Mounds, in the State of Wisconsin caves exist only in the Driftless Area, and do not occur in parts of the state where glaciers once covered the land. As such, caves, as well as the absence of caves, are geological features that are used to identify and characterize areas once covered by glaciers, in the same way that monadnocks, moraines, moulin kames, eskers, erratics, till, and drumlins, are geological features used to identify the glacial landscape. I lived in Mad City in the years, 1980-1984. During that era, my parents drove from Oakland, California to Mad City, and I took them on a tour of Cave of the Mounds. All I can remember from this visit is an illuminated exhibit of smurfs inside of Cave of the Mounds. I guess that this was intended to amuse children who visited Cave of the Mounds. At the time I lived in Mad City, I read The Physical Geography of Wisconsin by Lawrence Martin (this book describes all the above features of the glacial landscape). Last month (Sept. 2021), I bought and read this book again, as well as Geology of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail by Mickelson, and Geology of Ice Age Wisconsin by Robert Black. From the internet, I printed and read Chapters 3, 7, and 8 of Robert Black’s excellent book. I dearly wish that I had a time machine, and that I could return to the year 1984, and re-live those four wonderful years that I had in Wisconsin (exploring Apostle Islands, Mill Bluff State Park, the Moulin Kame named Holy Hill, Devils Lake, and the kettle moraine north of Milwaukee). Tom Brody, Ph.D., Berkeley, CA

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