Ohio Caverns is a show cave located 30 miles (48 km) from Dayton, Ohio near West Liberty, in Salem Township, Champaign County, Ohio in the United States. A popular tourist destination and member of the National Caving Association, it is the largest of all the cave systems in Ohio and contains many crystal formations.
The excavation team laid gravel in the pathways they had dug. The Smith family opened their business as the Ohio Caverns in 1925 with a 1 mile (1.6 km) guided tour route that did not include the .25-mile (0.40 km) section that Reams’ early visitors had explored and ravaged.
The rest of the twentieth century brought several changes for the caverns and park. On the surface, two picnic shelters, a dining hall (which has since been converted to a storage building), a playground, a restroom building, and a steel barn were built. Later, a small exit building was built to increase security at the exit stairwell, and the entrance building was renovated to now include a gift shop and a new basement containing offices and storage. In the cave, concrete was hand-laid on the floors in the 1970s. A professional cave lighter, whose team hid the new lights in concrete sconces in more creative and less obstructive places than the previous bare bulbs, was hired in the 1980s.
The Historical Tour
To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Noffsinger’s discovery of the cave, the Ohio Caverns opened its Historical Tour in 1997. Reams' section of the cave was adorned with the bare bulbs and gravel floors of the early Ohio Caverns tours. The Historical Section was added as a 45-minute extension to the regular tour, and the Historical Tour has been offered as an option ever since.
The Crystal Sea and Natural Bridge
The Crystal Sea is an artificial water-retention pool that holds excess water out of the walkway. Only about 1-inch (25 mm) deep, its name is derived from the reflection of the ceiling visible in the water. The Crystal Sea is very close to the site of the freight elevator used from 1922 to 1925 and is also close to a mud shelf above the pathway called the Natural Bridge, which holds between 10 and 20 crystal columns and is the original floor of the tunnel. The Smiths’ team left the columns intact during excavation and simply dug under them, forming the Natural Bridge.
Fantasy Land and The Old Town Pump
Fantasy Land holds more soda straws and hs