Tag Archive | Blue Mounds

Go Underground at Cave of the Mounds

10-20-01 & 8-9-10

Cave of the Mounds sign

Cave of the Mounds is a lot of fun, and open all year. You wouldn’t think Wisconsin  and caves go together, but the unique geology of this state has many features you wouldn’t expect.

You start your tour in the main building.  They begin on the hour and last about one hour.  Some spaces on the tour are a little tight so poeople who are claustrophobic may be uncomfortable.


Cave of the Mounds main building

You start by seeing a short film detailing the history of the cave before a guide takes you through.  Enjoy the film and then the tour below!

To protect the cave, lights are turned on as we go, they are not left on all the time. Dress warm, the temperature is a constant 50 degrees no matter when you go. See cave map here.

cave tour

The lowest point in the cave is marked by a red light.

Cave of the Mounds lowest point

The famous Polly the Parrot stalagmite.

Parrot stalagmite

Cave of the Mounds 2

After the tour you can get a souvenir in the gift shop or explore the grounds and visitor center.

Cave of the Mounds Visitor Center

There is a hill outside with stairs and a garden with a large red barn in the background.

Cave of the Mounds garden

Have a great day at Cave of the Mounds. There is also a picnic area if you come during the warmer months.

Little Norway in Blue Mounds, WI



This summer we got a package deal on three Wisconsin attractions; House on the Rock,  Little Norway and Cave of the Mounds.  This was our first time at Little Norway. This attraction consists of carefully preserved artifacts and buildings from a Norwegian family that settled in Wisconsin in the mid-1800’s. Osten Olson Haugen and his family settled here and worked hard to earn a living in what has been referred to as Nissedahle, or “Valley of the Elves.”

Little Norway sign 2Entrance

LittleNorwayLittle Norway info

Norway Bldg Sign 2

We arrive at the main building and gift shop. Some friendly trolls adorn the entrance area. We will be getting a guided tour by a docent in native garb.


We begin our tour. The group is small since we are the first group and it’s now off-season. We view the first building just outside.  She took us in and showed us around, also showed how some of the artifacts worked.


We continued the tour, the buildings were so beautiful and well taken care of.

We didn’t go in here, it’s a private residence of the family still living there. Notice the grass growing on the roof ? Makes it blend into the hillside.

Private residence


The most striking building on the site is the Norway Building, featured at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.


Other great views.

Building 6GreatView

We had a wonderful visit here. Unfortunately, there will be no other chances to see it.  A farewell video was produced in Sept, 2015.

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Getting High at Blue Mounds


It was summertime, and we spent much of this summer exploring the southwest corner of Wisconsin.  Today we were going to explore Blue Mounds State Park. This part of Wisconsin is called the”driftless area” because the glaciers did not cover this part of the state.

Blue Mounds signBlue Mounds State Park sign

Blue Mounds FortDriftless Area

Blue Mounds Fort marker and driftless area information.

The park is on the top of a very high hill with great views of the countryside. There is also a lookout tower to go even higher. Here the view is towards the town of Blue Mounds below. Attached to a scope on the tower was a guide to what we could see from up there. The park also has a memorial to a plane that crashed there in 1944.

Tower smBlue Mounds view

Landmark Locator

After the tower we decided to hike on Flintrock Nature Trail.

memorialFlintrock Trail

The trail had many signs explaining what we saw. This is the top of the mountain, and its capped by Chert (flint) , a very hard rock that has prevented time from wearing down Blue Mounds to the same height as the surrounding countryside.

Here is good site to lean about of a survey of the area.

Flintrock Nature Trail mapTrail

Here is a pretty chert boulder.  Also more information on the geology.

ChertChert colors

Tumbling Boulders SignChange

Fire StartersChert becomes soil

A memorial to the man who played a big part in Blue Mounds becoming the great resource that it is.

John MinixAl and Laurie

We had a great time hiking here in this beautiful park.

We went to Aunt Mary’s Hooterville Inn for lunch after our hike. This place in Blue Mounds has been serving locals and visitors for about 50 years. You are treated as a friend the first time you walk through the door. We have been back many times since this trip when we are in the area.  We were just back on May 14, this week.  I recommend this place for anyone wanting food and drink.

Aunt MarysMary

Aunt Marys Review