Though our definition of “underground” usually just means the subway, about three hours north of the city you can journey much deeper beneath the Earth at NY’s largest cavern: Howe Caverns.
Located in Howes Cave, New York, this amazing natural creation is believed by some scientists to have been crafted by nature starting six million years ago.
Through the power of erosion, and over a long period of time, small cracks began to open up on the layers of limestone in this area from rain water trickling down from the ground above. Eventually, these small cracks grew to be large cracks, allowing room for underground streams to flow. And, over the course of millions of years, the massive caves of Howe Caverns were formed.
This cavern is quite mysterious and will play tricks on your mind—within its depths solid rock will appear fluid creating strange formations and dripping stalactites, while mysterious grottos will open to distant, unexplored passages.
And if you decide to embark on a tour you’ll have the entire cavern at your fingertips.
On the traditional tour, you’ll begin in Lester Howe’s above-ground study where Howe himself will tell the story of how this great cave system was discovered. You’ll then travel along a well-worn twisting and turning path on a 90-minute, 1.25 mile walk and a 0.25 mile boat ride through the enormous cavern.
If you really want to be adventurous, Howe’s Caverns also offers other tours, including a Signature Rock Discovery Tour and an Adventure Tour where you’ll embark on a two-hour spelunking adventure. Lantern tours, family flashlight tours, and private tours are also available to book.
Things to keep in mind before visiting:
- Howe’s Caverns is open Thursday-Sunday during the winter
- Traditional tour tickets must be booked online
- Masks and vaccinations are not required
- The cavern is not wheelchair accessible
For more information on how you can tour this cavern that’s older than even the extinct woolly mammoth, head to their website.