Ledge View Nature Center and Caves
Ledge View Nature Center is a 105-acre park of prairie fields and scenic woods with two and a half miles of hiking trails. The park features a 60-foot observation tower, a dolostone quarry, Niagara ledges, arboretum, rain garden, butterfly garden and caves (accessible only on guided tours). There is no camping at Ledge View. These cave systems are natural holes in bedrock dolostone, a type of limestone. They were formed by groundwater and glacial melt water Their visiting-season temperature ranges from 42 to 60F. Their conditions depend on the weather outside-- if we get a lot of rain, the caves can be wet and muddy. These caves are continuously excavated by the Wisconsin Speleological Society, so things can change every year
Ledge View has two main cave systems Carolyn's Caverns and Montgomery Cave.
Carolyn's Caverns includes Mothers Cave, Bat Room, Dave's Sink, Kieth's Karst, and Wayne's World. Some of the more recent discoveries unearthed by The Wisconsin Speleological Society in Carolyn's Caverns are the connection of Wayne's World to the Bat Room, Wishing Well, Temptation Alley, Sliver Passage and Thunder Dome . Has seven crawl passages, drip formations, and glacial melt water features.
Mothers Cave is the adventure all crawling part of Carolyn's Cavern! It is all crawling . It includes the Squeeze-- large people who want to go through this cave should visit the nature center and see if they can get their body through the box simulation squeeze It is roughly 12 x 18 inches. Most people do fit.There is no access to any of the caves except on a scheduled guided tours. It is a half-mile walk to the caves. The caves are accessed via stairs and ladders. All cave tours are guided by a naturalist and include information about the biology, geology, and human history of the caves. Tours last about two hours. There is no electrical lighting in the caves, nor any concrete walkways. Visitors will have opportunities to crawl through passageways and explore. Visitors should bring a flashlight and plan on getting dirty! (You are welcome to bring a change of clothes.) No food, drink, candy, or gum is allowed in the caves. Photos are permitted.
For the general public, walk-in tours are offered most weekends and some weekdays, May through November. For tour visits to Carolyn's Caverns, or Mothers Cave please check out the online calendar or call the nature center at 1-920-849-7094 or for more information go to www.ledgeviewnaturecenter.org . Only one or two tours will run on any scheduled date, and participants need to have paid at the front desk by the tour start time. Our recommended minimum age for the optional crawl/walk-in tour is five years old, accompanied by a parent. The charge is a flat per-person rate of $6. See FAQs below for Mothers Cave, which is all crawling. The Mothers Cave tour is $7 per person.
The caves are open for schools and groups from mid-April through November. Reservations are required. Schools and groups receive a discounted tour rate:
Calumet County Schools: $4.50 per person
Calumet County Groups: $5 per person
Non-County Schools: $5 per person
Non-County Groups: $5.50 per person
The minimum group size is 12. The maximum is about 35. Depending on staff availability, much larger groups can also be accommodated, but will be divided. Reservations are accepted up to one year in advance. Because the caves require a degree of safety awareness, ability to listen, and physical dexterity, we recommend grade 3 and up for this field trip, which will visit Carolyn's and/or Montgomery Cave. Mothers Cave may be visited by grades 6 and up. All minors must be supervised by a responsible adult. Please do not email for reservations. Reservations must be made by live voice (phone contact).
School Field Trips
Caving is a great way for kids to learn about Wisconsin's geology and be challenged with a hands-on adventure. Reservations are accepted for grade 3 and up. Full-day (about five hours) and half-day field trips available.
How to get here
Ledge View Nature Center is in Calumet County, on the east side of Lake Winnebago. The nature center is on Short Road, one mile south of Chilton, between Hwy. G and Irish Road. Watch for signs.
From Appleton, take Hwy. 114 to Hilbert, and Hwy. 57 south.
From Green Bay, take Hwy. 57 south.
From Manitowoc, take Hwy. 151 west and Irish Road or Hwy. 57 south.
From Sheboygan, take Hwy. 42 to 32 to 57 north.
From Fond du Lac, take Hwy. 151 north to Calumet Cty. Hwy. H in Brothertown. Turn right. Take Hwy. H through Jericho. Turn left on St. Charles Road. Take St. Charles Road to Cty. Hwy. G. Turn left on G, and right on Short Road.