From zip-lining through the trees to uncovering caves, adventuring through parks to camping (or glamping!) with your family, these adventure-centric travel ideas should be on every outdoor enthusiast’s bucket list this summer.
Caves and Caverns
With more than two miles of passageways that range in depth from 30 feet to 103 feet, Ohio Caverns in West Liberty is the state’s largest cavern. The cavern is open in all weather, and stays a constant and cool 54 degrees all year long. Walking tours typically take about an hour, so bring your walking shoes, a sweater, and your camera to take photos of the wonderful world of underground beauty that awaits you.
Explore an underground world filled with waterfalls and rock formations at Indiana Caverns in Corydon, which boasts the longest cave in the state. Make your way 110 feet downhill to the underground river and back up again, and then enjoy the cavern’s other attractions, including a single rail zip coaster, gemstone mining and an escape room.
Located in Indiana cave country in Mauckport, Squire Boone Zipline has the longest zip line in the region, with two different zip-line courses. The Canopy Tour, for ages 7 and older, is great for families and will take you zipping through tree-top canopies and above scenic forest ravines. The Long Course Canopy Tour is for ages 10 and up, and is perfect for thrill-seekers who want more time on the ropes (and more time up in the air!). After zipping around, an underground tour of the caves at Squire Boone is a must.
Featuring six underground zip lines in a man-made cave, Mega Zips in Louisville, Kentucky, boasts the distinction as the world’s only fully underground zip-line course. With over 17 miles of underground passageways beneath the city, families can challenge each other to zip racing, or test their balance and skill across two challenging bridges.
Camping and Glamping
Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio, is the perfect place to glamp in style. Located just outside of the park grounds, The Inn at Cedar Falls offers unique lodging options for families who want to immerse themselves in nature — and also enjoy modern conveniences. Sleep in a sphere under the stars in the inn’s new luxury geodomes, or lounge in one of the inn’s roomy log cabins, cottages or unique yurts.
Treehouses aren’t just for kids to play in: They’re for families to sleep in, too! Located just outside of Shawnee National Forest, Timber Ridge Outpost in Elizabethtown, Illinois, offers families a playful place to relax in the treetops. Surrounded by forests and outfitted with all of the conveniences of home, sleeping in a treehouse is a glamping experience that families are sure to remember.
Hiking and Exploring
From forests and parks to rivers and lakes, the Midwest is at its best (and most scenic) when viewed on foot.
Take a hike along a portion of the Ice Age Trail, a 1000-mile footpath that is contained entirely within the state of Wisconsin. The Ice Age Trail — which is one of only 11 National Scenic Trails in the United States — is the perfect platform for day hikes and enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors, or more intensive backpacking and camping adventures.
For state park lovers, the state of Indiana wants to reward you for getting outdoors. Now through the end of 2022, visit any of Indiana’s almost 60 state parks and check in on the State Nature Passport app to collect prizes. Click here to sign up and download the app.
Have fun getting outside and exploring the Midwest!