Do you consider yourself an adventurer? How about spelunking aka cave exploring? There's a true hardcore cave that is now open again for exploring in southern Illinois after a 10 year hiatus.

I noticed this share by the Belleville News-Democrat on YouTube. It's the return of the Illinois Caverns that were closed 10 years ago in an attempt to preserve the natural geology there.

The White-Nose Syndrome that closed the caves a decade ago is serious business and can cause dire health problems so good to know that the caverns are in the clear now.

If you're not familiar with where the Illinois Caverns are located, it's just on the other side of St. Louis to the south.

Google Maps Satellite View
Google Maps Satellite View

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources official website for the Illinois Caverns provides even more details and the rich history that you'll find there:

Illinois Caverns is the only cave that has been operated commercially in Illinois. In 1901 the cave, which was located on a farm of Frederick Eckert, was leased by a Mr. White of East St. Louis. A bound register kept at the caverns indicates that the first paying sightseers arrived April 23, 1901.

As the official mentions in the video, you will need to come prepared with the right equipment and they'll check you before allowing you to enter. It's a wet and dirty experience, but unlike just about any other thing you could possibly do.

If Illinois Caverns sounds like something you'd like to do, make sure you fill out the cave exploration permit before you plan a trip.

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