Take a look at Crystal Cave in the media
“Coming up here on Minnesota Live, our mission of showing you where to go has taken our team on really adventurous reporters and photographers inside some of Minnesota’s amazing caves.”
“Yeah, today though we’re going to cross the river over to Wisconsin about an hour east of the Twin Cities to Spring Valley. There, you’ll find Crystal Cave, a cave that was discovered in 1881 by a couple of farm boys who were chasing a woodchuck.”
“Our Minnesota Live photojournalist Bill Middeke ventured inside.”
“Hi, my name is Eric McMaster. I’m the executive director here at Crystal Cave. Come on with me. Let’s take a look. This is the entrance to Crystal Cave.
“Welcome to the second level of Crystal Cave. Crystal Cave was actually discovered in 1881 by two local farm boys, George and William Vannase. They were up on a farm field on the surface and they were chasing a woodchuck and they saw it go down into a hole and then being curious young boys, they grabbed the stick and started poking at the hole. They dropped the stick and they heard it clattering deep into the earth. They realized there was something more than just a small hole.
“We are in the ballroom. This is the largest room in Crystal Cave. Actually back in 1991 we had a wedding down here. This is the inverted forest and we’re seeing some of our speleothems. They grow about one inch every 100 years and they actually are made out of calcite so they are rock.
“The room we are in now is actually called Mary’s Maze. It was discovered in 1951 by Mary Friede, one of the original owners of the cave. She felt some breezes going through a hole about this big and she was able to squeeze and squeeze through a very small hole and then she entered this room. It’s kind of amazing. So we’ve named the room Mary’s Maze in honor of Mary Friede
“There are three things that define a cave. One is it has to be naturally formed. The second this has to be large enough to for a person to fit and the third you have to be able to achieve total darkness. Behind the plexiglass we can see some more formations. We have flowstone, stalactites, stalagmites and columns and they’re all thousands of years old. All naturally formed. We have plexiglass here because people would try to touch the formations and they’re very delicate. There’s an oil on our skin that can permanently damage these formations.
“I hope you enjoyed the quick peak of Crystal Cave, we’re Wisconsin’s longest cave, and a great destination for the entire family.”
“And as with most caves, no matter what’s happening at ground level, it’s always dry. It’s always a mild temp. This one is 50 degrees inside Crystal Cave.
“Good place to take a nap. For those of us who get up early. Well they offer one-hour walking tours led by professional guides. Over 50,000 guests visit the cave annually. So they do recommend buying your tickets in advance online due to limited space. You can also spend a full afternoon exploring some of their trails, their picnic areas and they have a new educational dinosaur-themed mini golf.”
How fun does that sound?”
“Like do you hit the ball into the T-rex’s mouth or something?”
“That could be fun, huh? Let’s make it up, I don’t know.”