Cherney Maribel Caves
Please note that during the construction of a new park shelter, Cherney Maribel Caves County Park will be open from 7 A.M. until 8 P.M. every day and the park gate on HWY R will be locked when the park is closed. This will be in effect until August 21, 2020. Please exit the park prior to 8 P.M.
Cherney Maribel Caves County Park occupies 75 acres on the West Twin River north of the Village of Maribel in the Town of Cooperstown. A rugged cliff line, generally paralleling the river, separates the gently rolling, partially wooded upland area from the wooded lowland adjacent to the river. The foot of the cliff line contains small caves and openings in the rock layers.
The upland wooded area and its fringes have been developed with facilities for picnicking and hiking. Additional trails are located in the area of the park above the cliff line. Portions of the open land have been planted in seedlings in a reforestation project. A staircase and trail system has been constructed for greater accessibility to the scenic lowland area.
The Cherney Maribel Caves County Park is an especially significant geological area that was formed primarily by glacial activity. Through millions of years of deposition and change, glaciers wore down the land surface exposing an underlying solid mass of rock called Niagara Dolomite. Thus was formed the naked crags and irregular cliff line of the area. These formations are in contrast to other parts of Wisconsin where rich layers of boulder till were deposited by the glaciers.
Over the years, the rock has decomposed. Springs, the changing seasons, ice and temperature variations broke down the rock. Small caves and openings created by these forces appear in the rock layers of the cliff line. Springs which seep from the limestone rock flow over moss covered rocks and trickle to the river. Rare ferns, varieties of creeping plants and wild flowers are found among the rocks and within the wooded growth. This natural beauty of the park made it a popular picnic and recreational area long before it was acquired by the County in 1963.
Although the hotel and bottling plant stone buildings do not belong to the county park. The historic site can be viewed and photographed from the park property line.