Spring Mill State Park to Host Caving Events, Aug. 23-24

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Spring Mill State Park to Host Caving Events, Aug. 23-24Explore the wonders of caves at Spring Mill State Park during the third annual “Gone Caving!” programs on Aug. 23-24.

A new event this year is a wild caving trip for up to 12 beginning cavers on Saturday afternoon. Basic caving equipment will be provided. A fee of $10 per person for the wild cave trip will be charged to cover costs.

Participants in the wild caving trip must be at least 11 years old and minors must be accompanied by a registered adult. Advance registration for the trip is required by calling (812) 849-4129 by 4 p.m. Aug. 22. If there are still open slots available, registration will also be accepted on Aug. 23, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the park’s Twin Caves “shack.”

Registered participants will meet at the Twin Caves parking lot on Saturday at 2 p.m. and carpool to the cave entrance. An off-property cave was selected so the trip would be appropriate for first-time and younger cavers. Wild caving opportunities inside Spring Mill State Park are more challenging and many of the caves are closed to the public.

“This is a great opportunity for people who have never explored a wild cave before to get their feet muddy and enjoy an afternoon underground,” Jill Vance, interpretive naturalist, said.

Plenty of fun also awaits those who don’t go on the wild caving trip. On Saturday, kids can create cave art at the Butternut shelter, and visitors will be able to vote on their favorite pieces of cave art. There will be a hike to Hamer Cave overlook, and activities from Project Underground. A limestone necklace craft also will be offered.

Singer/songwriter Paul Michael Ash will provide Saturday evening entertainment with a concert of caving songs in the campground amphitheater at 8:30 p.m.

Programs continue on Sunday with a hike to Donaldson Cave. There will be a cave rescue demonstration, and a chance for visitors to sculpt cave formations out of clay. If you ever wondered what kind of creatures live in caves, there will be a presentation to learn about cave critters.

A cave movie marathon will be shown in the Nature Center during both days. For a complete program schedule of events, see dnr.IN.gov/parklake/12066.htm.

Park admission during the event is $5 per vehicle for in-state residents and $7 per vehicle for out-of-state residents. Annual Entrance Passes for 2008 are also available.

For more information contact Coletta Prewitt at (812) 849-4129 or cprewitt [at] dnr [dot] in [dot] gov.