Indian Echo Caverns & Echo Dell, more than Underground Caverns
Are you planning a visit to Hershey with your family? Going with kids implies a lot more work when it comes to planning everything out, but luckily, you are in the right place. Indian Echo Caverns & Echo Dell is one of the most popular attractions in Hershey PA.
It’s time for creating some magical, unforgettable memories with your family. Don’t worry! It is so easy to finally visit some geological wonders while you are in Hershey.
Are you ready for an attraction to take your breath away?
Well, it would be a pity not to visit something extraordinary as the Echo Dell or Indian Echo Caverns. Keep scrolling down to read all the information about one of the most attractive places in the United States.
Why is it Worth Visiting the Indian Echo Caverns?
If you enjoy being in the middle of nature, as does your family, then you should definitely try the Echo Dell and Indian Echo Caverns in PA. You can feel the power of nature while being here, and it is a unique chance to explore a natural maze of caverns.
Well, the Echo Dell Indian Echo Caverns have a really long history, as they first opened for the public visit in 1929. For almost 90 years now, people could admire the beauty of this place. What can you see here?
- A breathtaking landscape with sparkling waters and crystal view;
- Natural geological wonders;
- Very intimate, quite passageways;
- Historical caverns;
- Lots of fun activities outside the perimeter of the caverns.
While going with your children, it is sometimes hard to keep their attention. Luckily for you and them, while being outside the caverns, there are lots of fun things to do.
For instance, you can have a quiet, tasty picnic right in the Dome Pavilion. Children will be so happy to climb all around the playground, even feed the cute animals at the petting zoo.
If you are looking for more educational fun while visiting the caverns’ area, you can check the Gem Mill Junction, and admire some of their natural gemstones, as well as other lots of minerals and fossils.
Tip: Do not miss the underground tour, which is a guided one and admire the Indian Echo Caverns, with their impressive beauty.
You will have the chance to see the great natural beauty of the ancient rock formations, and also get lots of information about the history of these limestone caverns. Last but not least, you will finally get to know everything about the first inhabitants of these caverns.
How Old are the Indian Echo Caverns?
When we said you have to go to see the beauty of these caverns, we were talking seriously. What you need to know is that the limestone in the caverns is somewhere around 440 million years old.
Yes, you read it right. The process of developing these caverns was easy. Actually, what happened is that water flowed right from the surface through the limestone.
During the millions of years, it eroded all the rocks, and as a result, lots of openings and crevices started appearing. In geological terms, we explain this phenomenon as an “uplift” of the limestone, given the geological forces.
Just to have a picture of these magical caverns, imagine some plenty of tall rooms, inside which you can stand-up. Don’t forget to visit the largest area in here, which is The Indian Ballroom, a room that is 49 feet and 110 feet wide.
The Lake - one of the Best Instagram Spots
If you are passionate about taking photos, then you should definitely go to the most Instagrammed places in the era. The Crystal Lake is magical, and it is placed inside the caverns.
Imagine a deep, crystal pool of water, right in the middle of the cavern. Now, the principle of its formation is simple and logical: the rock that stands below the lake is not permeable. This explains why the water that would normally seep down from the surface now stands around for a while.
Admire the Stalagmites and Stalactites
Of course, the caverns have beautiful formations such as stalagmites and stalactites. If you don’t know yet what these are, well, stalagmites are that type of rock formations that form from downwards to upwards, while the stalactites do vice-versa, and they start from the ceiling.
There are many times when these formations met and created beautiful columns, that you will also see in the Indian Echo Caverns.
The amazing part of caverns is that they are living organisms that are growing and changing slowly. Imagine that it can take even 150 years for a new formation to grow with only 1 inch.
While you are visiting the Echo Caverns, try to take a good look around and observe the uniquely shaped formations. Maybe you will also see some Hershey’s Kisses in the rocks.
What was the Aim of these Caverns?
As you might guess, the caverns were a very comfortable refuge, as its walls maintained a constant temperature of 52 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, it did not matter the weather outside.
The very first inhabitants of the Indian Echo Caverns are thought to be the Susquehannock Indians. These people were using the caverns for their main shelter, but also for storing food and personal belongings.
During the 17th century, some early European explorers and hunters finally discovered the mouth of the caverns and used them as shelters. However, some important figures lived here, such as William Wilson.
He used to call these formations his home, from 1802 to 1821.
Are there any Life Forms Here?
The Indian Echo Caverns have lots of visitors nowadays, so there is a constant commotion in there. As a result, there are little chances to see many animals inside. But it is safe to say that there are many chances to see an occasional salamander or bat.
What does the Guided Tour Imply?
Having a guide during the Indian Echo Caverns is definitely worth it. What you need to know is that the tour takes somewhere around 45 minutes, with an extra 15 minutes for walking to and from the cavern mouth.
You will have tour guides who will tell you everything about the history of the cavern, the ecology, and the ecosystem here, as well as the impressive formations.
Needless to say that during the tour you can ask any question about these caverns, about the pathways, as well as the ceilings and all the formations inside the caverns.
Make sure you check the information first, as the times can vary depending on seasons and how busy the attraction is. Once you will arrive, don’t forget to check in the gift shop, where you will book your spot for the next tour.
How to Dress During the Cavern Tour?
It does not matter the season, the temperature inside the caverns is a consistent: 52 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, it will be cool inside during the summer and warm during the winter.
As such, we recommend you dress in layers and adapt your clothes to how you feel. Also, make sure you have comfortable shoes, some sporty ones, or trekking shoes.
Can you Touch the Rock Walls?
No, you are not allowed to touch any of the rock formations. The explanation is simple: our skin contains natural oils that will prevent the formations from ever growing again.
Fun Outdoor Activities at Echo Dell
If you finished visiting the Indian Echo Caverns and still want to fill your day with fun activities, don’t worry. There is plenty to do around Echo Dell, so here are the top activities to check:
Gem Mill Junction
Have you ever wondered how real pioneers do the discoveries? If the answer is yes, then you should go to the Gem Mill Junction. Here you can try panning for coins, fossils, gemstones, and many more.
The experience is so much fun. Basically, you buy a bag of sand and goodies right from the gift shop. Then you take the content outside and start sifting through. While the water will wash the sand away, you have the chance to discover lots of small treasures you will keep.
Kids will love visiting the farm animals at Echo Dell. The entrance is free, and you can admire the alpacas, rooster, turkeys, peacocks, chickens, and many more animals. All of them are used to tourists, so they are friendly. You can purchase some snacks and feed cute animals.
Picnic Tables and Playground
Keep in mind that Indian Echo Caverns don’t sell any food treats, so you can plan ahead a picnic and grab some goods from home. There are plenty of free-to-use picnic tables where you can have your lunch.
While you prepare the food, let the kids’ imaginations run wild at the playground area, featuring several slides, swings, monkey bars, and climbing walls!
In a Nutshell…
While you will be visiting Hershey, don’t miss this geologic brilliance of the Indian Echo Caverns and the Echo Dell. See the actual results of the erosive properties of water.
This is a unique chance to see the 440 million years old caverns, in a tour that lasts only 45 minutes. The best part? This is a weather-free attraction, meaning it is perfect to visit in any season. The guests will see stalagmites, stalactites, as well as how the life inside a cave looks like.
When it comes to clothes, don’t forget that the caverns have a temperature of constant 52-degrees Fahrenheit, so it would be a good idea to have a jacket with you and appropriate shoes.
In addition to visiting the caverns, there are lots of outdoor activities to do, a picnic area, playgrounds, and petting zoo. In a nutshell, Indian Echo Caverns are a family-friendly destination.
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Vacation Guide: Sweetest Place on Earth, Hershey Pennsylvania
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