Out & About | Explore the Mysterious Beauty of Howe Caverns

On the latest segment of Out & About  Simply Southern New England, explore the mysterious beauty of Howe Caverns, and learn about the different tours they have to offer.

Come in. Everyone, please come in. There’s room for everyone. Please come right in. My name is Lester Ha, and I discovered Howe Caverns on May 22 1842.

Sparky Spaulding – Operations Manager – 00:17 – How caverns is the second most visited natural attraction in New York State. We are just slightly behind Niagara Falls. We’re out here in the boonies. But it is a very scenic ride to get here. As a matter of fact, when you look out our front windows, the scenic view is just totally amazing with all the valleys and hills.

Caves

00:45 – When you round the corner out of the elevators, you’ll start to hear the river stakes. Eventually that starts to quiet down as the stream widens, and then all sudden you can hear the drips coming from the ceiling and hitting the rocks. It’s very peaceful down there to be honest with you. We don’t know how old the cave actually is. The estimates are between 65,000 years to 10 million years old. We have the three basic types of calcite formations the like tights, I hold Titus ceiling, still like mites growing upwards, and then we have flow stones surrounding the walls. Now calcite in its purest form is a milky white. However, if that water dripping to the layers of limestone picked up minerals along the way actually changes the color of the calcite. For example, we have some red down there from iron, some yellowish orange from sulfur, some black from magnesium and gray from aluminum salts.

Tours

1:52 – Of course, our most popular tour is our traditional tour. Basically you walk a half mile through the cave, who take an underground boat ride and then walk out three quarters of a mile. We can put about 18 adults in there making the boat weigh about two tons. And us guides get the pleasure of pushing these by hand. And then on the way back out of the boat, right, you’re actually seeing the bridal altar. We’ve had over 700 weddings done down there. And then lastly is my favorite part is called the whining way. It’s 300 feet of curvy cave. There are about 30 curves in that area. Again, that’s my favorite spot. We have two spelunking tours here on property. The one that is open year round is called the  “Adventure Tour” where we suit you up in rubber boots, knee pads, a Tyvek suit, rubber gloves, a helmet with a light on so you can definitely see where you’re going, and then we start off with a 12 foot crawl on your hands and knees through an opening now much wider than my shoulder. Mr. Howe called it the devil’s gangway. By reservations only you can do a Lantern Tour. That’s where the lights are turned off, and you’re you are using candlelight on your way out.

03:16 – Every time I go down into the cave. I always see something different that I haven’t seen for 37 years. It is definitely worth a visit. If you’ve ever seen Mother Nature and its  finest This is the place to come.

Howe Caverns offers tours year round since it is always 52 degrees in the caves.

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