Cherney Maribel Caves

As a sort of “side trip” on our way back home from hiking in Potawatomi State Park, we spent a short time at Cherney Maribel Caves, which is in a county park near Maribel just off I-43. (Cherney was the name of the man who owned the land that has the caves and who sold the area to the county, as long as his name would be attached to the property.)

The weather was drippy during our visit and threatened to become more like a downpour, so we didn’t plan to spend a lot of time in the caves. Guided tours of the caves are available at certain rare times during the summer. The day we visited wasn’t one of these (which we knew in advance), so we didn’t actually dive into any of the open caves.

The trails themselves were nicely-kept and well-marked.

Some caves are protected behind locked doors when no guides are around.

Others are open but are either accessible only by crawling or are so dark you need a good light or lantern to see your way into them.

The photos above only look kinda bright because of camera flash and post-production enhancements. With the naked eye, they’re pitch black.

Below is Coopers Cave. I could have walked into this one, but again it was too dark. My weak phone flashlight made no difference.

And again, you can only see what you can see because of the camera flash.

Finally, I took the picture below just to show that plants – trees – will try to grow pretty much anywhere.

Trees above a cave

With proper clothing and lighting and a guide, the Maribel caves could be fairly interesting. Without those aides, I wouldn’t recommend that you go out of your way to visit them.