Of course when you visit the Hershey and Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania you would automatically think of chocolate. Visiting everything and anything Hershey is probably on the top of your list. However there are many other things to see and do in the area. One of them is visiting the Indian Echo Caverns. They aren’t too far from Hershey and it is definitely worth the visit.
Upon arrival to the Indian Echo Caverns there are signs to turn in. We passed a mini golf course and other little activities. Make sure you look at the signs to take you to the free parking area. Once we parked we headed over to the little building. Inside is a gift shop and a place to purchase tickets. We didn’t have the warmest welcome at first, but we got a receipt with our group on it and were told to head out and wait for our group letter to be called.
Once outside I could hear a ton of kids yelling and talking. There were some school trips happening. The kids were playing on the playground. It was chilly that morning so we had on some hoodies and sat to wait for our group. I soon noticed some turkeys, goats, and an alpaca walking around a petting barnyard area. I thought that was pretty cool. There was also a gem mill area.
After a little wait it was finally our groups turn. I believe our tour guides name was Eric. He was really nice, had a few good jokes, and was very knowledgeable. We went down 72 steps to get to the entrance of the cavern. Clearly going down them was much better than going back up them after the tour was over. No worries there are benches to sit down on, on the way up. I saw some people taking advantage of this!
Once inside we learned that not all the colors we see in there are natural. You are also not to touch any of the rocks/formations. The oils from your hands do damage to them. So if you walk through and see a green or dull colors when it should be white that is why. Also if you happen to notice black around the caverns that is from the people who once lived and stored things there that used fire.
There are also small bodies of water inside. Upon first glance it looks really clear, but then you notice a blueish tint. We were informed that is due to people accidentally dropping things in the water. So please be mindful of your belongings and touching anything but the railings while in there. It is always important to preserve these places.
The caverns are 52 degrees year around so you can imagine during colder times people have lived in the caves. Especially in the winter. In fact there is one such known person who lived there for 19 years, William Wilson who became known as the Pennsylvania Hermit. Once inside the area he stayed in black is all around from the fires he used to burn while living there.
The Indian Echo Caverns also boasts an area inside known as the Wedding Chapel. The flowstone inside is white and makes you think of a wedding cake and such. Many people have gotten engaged and married there. Clearly with the space a wedding would be very intimate, but very cool nonetheless.
There is also tons of flowstone that look like many different figures depending upon your imagination. Incase you are wondering they have lit up the caves with lights so that you can see. The guides turn the lights off once leaving the areas. At one point our guide turned off the lights to give a sense of what it was like to be in there with no light at all. Hence using fire to try to see a long time ago.
There is much more to learn about the caverns. Many stories and myths and much more. You are just going to have to go check it out for yourself. It was my first time visiting caverns and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was pretty cool and I would recommend you check it out if you are in the area. See more of the caverns in the vlog below.
Have you ever been to the Indian Echo Caverns?
Disclaimer: Thank you to Visit Hershey & Harrisburg and Indian Echo Caverns for having us. While being hosted all opinions and views are my own.