Ohio Caverns, near Dayton Ohio

These are pictures of the Ohio Caverns, taken during my vacation to Dayton, Ohio during August 1994. Click here for the details about the camera and film used to take these pictures.


The Ohio Caverns are located in West Liberty, Ohio, about 30 miles north-east of Dayton. This region was once upon a time carved by glaciers, and is covered by a lot of rolling hills built out of limestone. The Ohio Caverns are found underneath the tallest hill of the region.

Some History

The caverns were discovered in the late 1800s by a farmhand, and it seems they were quickly converted into a tourist attraction. Most of the caverns appear to have been about 4 feet from "floor" to ceiling, though the floors were originally mostly made of mud. Sometime early this century, a lot of the mud was cleared out, and some of the limestone walls were dug away so that people could tour it.

Cool Stuff

The Ohio Caverns have two types of stalactite and stalagmite formations. Most caves only have one type, made of Calcite. This forms the translucent white formations found in most caves. The Ohio Caverns have another type of formation, made from Iron Oxide, more commonly known as rust. This is the predominant feature and color of the cave.

Within the cave, there are stalactites made from either type of formation, and some made from a combination. There are a couple "dual formations", which are made from one type of formation built on top of (underneath?) another type. The last picture below has a Calcite stalactite that is growing underneath an Iron Oxide stalactite. There are only supposed to be two or three known caves in the world that have this type of dual formation.

The Ohio Caverns now has their own web site. Check it out!


[Road gate] This is the gate you drive through to get to the caverns. The entrance to the caverns is at the top of the highest hill in the surrounding region.

[Stalactites and columns] This is a picture of some Calcite stalactites and columns growing from an iron oxide covered wall.

[Columns] Here are some of the widest columns in the cave. These columns are between 9 and 11 inches in diameter.

[Thin stalactites] This picture shows a bunch of pencil-thin stalactites hanging from the cave's ceiling.

[Tall stalactite] This is the largest stalactite in the cave. It is about four and a half feet long.

[Iron Oxide Wall] This is a wall covered in Iron Oxide. The higher resolution image shows more of the texture of the iron oxide formations. Unlike the Calcite formations that are very smooth, all the iron oxide formations are very crinkly.

[Dual formation] This is a picture of one of the rare dual formations. This dual formation has a Calcite stalactite growing from the bottom of an Iron Oxide one.

Note: I am only a satisfied customer. I do not have any tourist information about the Ohio Caverns, the surrounding area, Dayton, Ohio, and so on. You can contact the Ohio Caverns at 2210 East Route 245, West Liberty, OH 43357, (937) 465-4017. Or, visit their web site at www.ohiocaverns.com/

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Copyright 1995, Eric Lechner, eric@re.org