Seven caves they were called in 1928. Now it is called Cave Canyon and offers fantastic views of caves, cliffs and valleys. It lies in the heart of the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. The stunning nature reserve is a great trip for most nature lovers and adventurers. The history and its attractions made the place a remarkable nature reserve with a date of more than 400 million years.
Early European settlers in Seven Caves were attracted to the cavernous Rocky Fork Canyon region. During the 19th century, indigenous families entered the gorge to explore caves. It was first named as Highland Caves. Tourists were charged 10 cents when traveling by horse.
Clyde Chaney of Indiana made some changes in 1928 when he saw far-reaching opportunities for the Highland Caves. He persuaded five investors to buy the caves. Clyde and his family developed it into a prime destination and named it 7 caves. They improved the ways and caves to preserve their beauty. The entrance fee was raised to 25 cents. Robert Judkins was the next owner, who continued to apply the caves and passed them on to the Miller family, who worked on them for 25 years.
The place itself has glittering waterfalls, hemlock, morning mist, cold springs and white cedar that blinded visitors. There are three trails that allow you to stroll to precipices, grottos, waterfalls, limestone and rock formations. It is also a botanical hotspot with over 300 varieties of rare plants, wildflowers and trees. In the caves you can fish and watch birds.
Wildflowers remain the best attraction in April. The pyramid of the Trilliums is the most impressive flower splendor that can be seen on the valley sides. During spring, the snow trillions cling to the bare gray rocks.
Seven Caves has an Appalachian Forest Museum that shows the cultural history of the eastern forests. It is located on Rocky Road Canyon. Therefore, various caves like Devil's Icebox and Dancing Cave are rich in wildlife and legends. It became the residence of the Native Americans.
Seven caves, now called Cave Canyon, are a natural monument just 70 miles from Cincinnati. It also offers educational activities, self-guided tours on weekends, walks and picnic areas on the surface. The campgrounds are located in the state parks Rocky Fork and Paint Creek.
It is open to the public from April to October. Visitors can enjoy a general admission fee for three hiking trails, the Appalachian Nature Book Store, access to the Cliff Deck, the views of Rocky Fork Gorge and the audiovisual orientation over the Eastern Forest. Cave explorations are not included in the package.
There are three self-guided trails. The first is the Valley of the Ancients. The place has trail curves from rocks to Rocky Fork Creek. It shows stunning panoramas of a 25-mile loop. The second is the Etawah Woods Loop Trail. It offers walks along the edge of the Rocky Fork Canyon. There are huge hemlocks and a long staircase down to the gorge. And third is the Big Beech Loop Trail. There are massive beech and tulip poplars of an intact ecosystem and an intact forest community.
The place also offers ecological walks. It is available on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial to Labor Day on Autumn Days. Families can explore the natural history of Cave Canyon with naturalist William Sullivant. Hikers can wander the dark entrances of the caves and learn about bat populations. A guided hike takes about an hour for a quarter of a mile.
Currently, the site is undergoing renovations to make it the first museum in the world to interpret the temperate forest of Eastern America. The amazing possibilities of man to interact with nature made Cave Canyon a must. It has long been admired by visitors for the perfect time out nature experience from the excitement of our everyday lives.