Madison Originals Magazine Madison Originals Magazine February 2012 - Page 39 | 39 stops. Lighting highlights the colors, pools of water, and patterns created as the calcium carbonate recrystallizes and make this walk unlike any other. Think of a drip castle you might make at the beach, or a doughnut or a cake with a sugar glaze frosting drizzled over the top (or bottom)! Two longer walks highlight the surface features, including old oaks and karst topography. Limestone bedrock and sinkholes characterize karst topography. Water dissolves the limestone beneath the surface and then the weakened limestone collapses, leaving sinkholes. In other parts of the country, houses have been swallowed by holes, some as deep as 300 feet! Plan your visit so you can take advantage of both above- and below-ground features of the site. Prior to or following the tour, browse the shop, pan for valuable minerals in the homemade sluiceway, dig for fossils, or walk the geologic timeline or prairie gardens. For beautiful spring through fall days, barbecues and picnic space are provided. On winter days, try a snowy walk or post-visit ski at Blue Mounds State Park. Because of its location, Cave of the Mounds is linked with the Military Ridge bike trail, making this a great stop on a bike ride whether you are camping with youngsters at nearby Blue Mounds State Park or on a country tour out of Madison. W inter adventurers can make this a stop before or after skiing at Tyrol Basin or the Blue Mounds State Park trails. With a consistent 50-degree temperature year-round, Cave of the Mounds is a great escape from summer heat and a reasonably warm hangout in the dead of winter. Who cares if it’s dark!And don’t go alone! Cave of the Mounds staff have put together birthday party and scout badge packages. Or bring a group of adult spelunkers and enjoy a BBQ, hike, or night skiing after you visit. A historic barn provides additional classroom and event space. Call to nd out whether your event can be accommodated. Liz Wessel is the owner of Green Concierge Travel, which has information for honeymoons and other ecotravel at Photographs provided by Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark , All rights reserved. Cave of the Mounds ( Member of Travel Green Wisconsin ( Travel-Green/Overview) WINTER TOURS (November 16–March 14) Weekdays: available daily; call for tour information. Weekends: on the hour, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (last tour 4:00 p.m.) Closed: anksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day SPRING TOURS (March 15–Friday before Memorial Day) Weekdays: on the hour, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (last tour 4:00 p.m.) Weekends: 30-min. intervals, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (last tour 5:00 p.m.) SUMMER TOURS (Memorial Day Weekend–Labor Day Weekend) Weekdays & Weekends: 20–30 min. intervals, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (last tour 6:00 p.m.) FALL TOURS (Tuesday after Labor Day Weekend–November 15) Weekdays: on the hour, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Weekends: 30-min. intervals, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (last tour 5:00 p.m.)