Bluespring Caverns Park: Come See Indiana’s Largest Sinkhole

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Beware: You should never explore wild caves alone or without proper gear. Consider getting in touch with a Grotto of the National Speleological Society at or a qualified cave club. These groups are skilled and will train you. Without sufficient knowledge, preparation, and equipment, cave exploring can lead to serious injury or death.

Bluespring Caverns Park, located in Southern Indiana, has long been a captivating destination for explorers and nature enthusiasts.

This park is notable for housing one of the longest underground river systems in the United States, providing visitors with a captivating journey through an underground marvel. In addition, it features the largest sinkhole in the state. Are you ready for a remarkable adventure? You’ll love experiencing Indiana’s treasure, with its captivating geological formations and distinctive aquatic life.

In this article, you’ll learn about the park and the cave before you plan your trip.

The Origin and Exploration of Bluespring Caverns

The cave system was first discovered in the 19th century. Before 1913, the entrance served as the outflow of a spring that discharged into the White River. However, a dam construction on the White River in 1913 effectively blocked this access point. In 1940, a supplementary entrance was constructed in response to a severe storm in the vicinity.

Overnight, a small pond on George Colglazier’s farm transformed, disappearing and giving way to a sinkhole, which now serves as the entrance to a cave system. Colgazier’s children became interested in exploring the undeveloped cave on their family’s 100-acre (0.40 km2) farm.

While Uzahne and Janet rarely visited the cave, their brothers Norman, James, Lee, and Daniel were captivated by it.

An image shows the massive inside of the caves at Bluespring Caverns State Park.

The news about the grand opening of Bluespring Caverns quickly spread, attracting visitors from various parts of the world. As a result, the Colglazier family received numerous guests who came to explore the caverns, causing an influx of visitors to the small farm.

George Colglazier and his wife, Eva, resided on their ancestral farm and hospitably received guests at the caverns until George Colglazier’s demise in the early 1980s. Colglazier and his wife did not benefit financially from Bluespring Caverns.

They earned their livelihood through diligent work as dairy farmers. The property owners granted permission to cave explorers and imposed a single rule: to refrain from damaging or taking anything from the caves.

While exploring the cave, the individuals encountered a remarkable underground river, leading them to recognize the importance of their finding.

Currently, tourists can participate in guided tours that allow them to retrace the paths of these courageous adventurers and personally experience the enchanting allure of Bluespring Caverns.

Bluespring Caverns Park Overview

Indiana is home to the largest sinkhole the Bluespring Cavern, and an additional above-ground attraction. The 0.5-mile trail in the Bolton Natural trail shows distinct topography shaped by and influencing the formation of Bluespring Caverns.

Exploring the forest surrounding the sinkhole evokes a sense of entering a time capsule. The steep slopes surrounding the 10-acre sinkhole have prevented logging in much of the surrounding area. The forest observed by early settlers in Lawrence County would have been remarkably similar to what they look like now.

The path leads to a restricted ridge that offers a vantage point over a steep valley. The ground appears to have collapsed inward. Located at the bottom of the sinkhole is the Bolton Entrance to Bluespring Caverns. The small opening facilitates rainwater drainage into the underground river and supplies nutrients to cave-dwelling wildlife.

The water depth ranges from 3 to 20 ft (1 to 6 m). What you may soon notice is a collection of stalactites called Elephant Head and swimming Pterodactyl, named after their distinctive visual resemblance.

Beyond that lies a rock with many names. Visitors often bump their heads on it, cursing it, and so its history is quite rich today. This rock was formerly a component of a tall column that extended down into the water. Some believe the previous cave operators had to remove a column on opening day because the boats they were using were too big to navigate around it.

A massive stalactite hangs over the river in the Bluespring Caverns State Park Caves.

Entering Bluespring Caverns

Multiple small entrances allow entry to various fauna. Staff often encounter raccoons, possums, and iguanas stranded on the muddy river banks. Bats occasionally enter the cave to rest and can be observed hanging from the ceiling in some elevated regions.

Inside the cave is a white roof, contrasting with the brown along the walls extending towards the water. The discolouration of limestone is caused by the deposition of mud and silt from the surface, as the natural colour of the limestone is white. The white sections indicate the maximum water level through history.

This is useful, as the staff use the water level to ensure trip safety. During Hurricane Katrina, heavy rainfall caused a rapid 15 ft increase in water level within 10 minutes. If the necessary precautions to cancel tours had not been taken, it would have resulted in fatal consequences for individuals on the river. 

The opening at the bottom of the sinkhole formed the current entrance to Bluespring Caverns. Upon entering, a steep 400-foot ramp descends to a dock on the named Mystery River.

The river flows over a cascading waterfall near the dock, entering a deeper section of the third-longest cave in Indiana.

In contrast to other caves that provide brief experiences with underground rivers, this trip entails a continuous hour-long round-trip journey, over a distance of 600 ft through the caverns.

The Subterranean River Adventure

Bluespring Caverns Park offers the chance to explore an underground river system as a prominent feature. Visitors embark on custom-built boats led by experienced tour guides, navigating smoothly through the excellent and dim waters of the caverns.

The river journey provides a distinct viewpoint of the cave’s formations, reflected in the water, resulting in a surreal and enchanting ambience.

As the boats venture further into the cave, towering stalactites and stalagmites beckon. These gradually developed for thousands of years, and their shape and sizes are all unique. The guides provide valuable information about the geological processes that formed these structures and the fragile ecosystem in the cave.

An image shows a boat full of visitors to the Bluespring Caverns Underground River Tour.

The Blind Cave Fish

Bluespring Caverns houses the Northern Blind Cave Fish (Amblyopsis spelaea), a remarkable and uncommon species.

These eyeless fish have adapted to thrive in complete darkness, showcasing the remarkable adaptability of life in the underground environment.

Observing these organisms in their natural environment provides a remarkable opportunity to gain insights into the processes of evolution and survival.

Some other creatures you might find include spotted red-orange salamanders and the occasional solitary bat.

An image shows a close-up of the Northern Blind Cave Fish, found in the Bluespring Caverns Underground River.

Other Attractions

Although the underground river adventure is the main attraction at Bluespring Caverns Park, numerous above-ground exploration opportunities are also available.

The park provides nature trails that traverse picturesque woodlands, offering opportunities for hiking, wildlife observation, and birdwatching. Nature enthusiasts can encounter various plant and animal species that inhabit this region, which is known for its high biodiversity.

Kids may enjoy the gemstone mining activity also available for all ages.


Bluespring Caverns Park showcases the underground world’s captivating beauty and enigmatic nature. The cave’s complex formations, underground river system, and distinct ecosystem provide an exceptional opportunity for individuals seeking adventure and a more profound connection with the natural environment.

Bluespring Caverns Park offers a remarkable underground experience for explorers and nature enthusiasts, showcasing the intricate beauty of our planet and leaving a lasting impression.

Exploring the underground river and woodland trails of this park in Indiana unveils its enchanting and remarkable features.

If you want a full tour, some adventurers recorded their trip, included below.

Also, if you’re in or around Indiana and want to check out other caves in the vicinity, be sure to check our Indiana Caves List too!

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