About an hour outside of La Crosse, and past corn fields, is something you would never expect…an underground cave.
Discovered back in 1924, Niagara Cave in Harmony, Minnesota is ranked one of the top 10 caves in America by numerous recreation websites. This prompts over 25,000 people to visit the cave each year, and see first-hand what makes it extraordinary.
"The majority of the cave lies with canyon-like passageways that extend for over half a mile," Ryan Bishop, Niagara Cave Supervisor, said. "Down there we have our wedding chapel where we have underground weddings and we do have a lots of fossils that you can see on the tour, that ends in our stalactite room."
Over 400 weddings have taken place at Niagara Cave over the years by people looking for a one-of-a-kind venue.
Down the other side of the cave, it’s the waterfall that shines as the star attraction.
"For most people this is the highlight of the tour. It’s pretty rare for a cave to have a waterfall in it. It’s about 50 feet from here to the bottom, then the water continues on for another mile and a half," added Bishop.
Perhaps even more unique than the waterfall is the fact that the cave is family owned, with Bishop spending his childhood learning every inch of it. This provides the perspective of a person who truly grew up around what you will see throughout the tour.
Even though Bishop has years of experience walking though the cave, he says the cold takes some getting used to.
"It’s 48 degrees down here all year round," said Bishop.
The cave may has the same temperature season to season, but it is only open for visitors April to October. That means if you are interested in seeing one of our regions true natural landmarks, it’s time to cave and go.
For another adventure make sure to check back next Wednesday for a news episode of hometown tourist, and a chance to make the la Crosse area your own.