Thursday, September 13, 2012

Exploring caverns in New York State

In the early days of roadside attractions businesses would compete for the motorist's attention. Repeating signs (like the famous Burma Shave ads) were used to peak your curiosity with each one claiming more fantastic sights to be seen. On my drive through northern NY state I came across this one for the "Secret Caverns" and was immediately hooked.

By the time I saw the third sign I knew I wanted to visit. Funny enough, I ended up at a different spot called Howe's Caverns, which turned out to have pretty boring billboards mind you.  I hadn't realized I was at a different place until just after I paid so I reluctantly joined the next tour.
We descend 150 feet below the surface and walk out into a beautiful sight. I have always wanted to see the formations in underground caves and although the tour guide kept saying it's all natural I wasn't convinced. I will say most of what I saw was naturally occurring but when your view of the place is interrupted by electrical cords it kind of takes away from the charm. At one point I actually saw an electrical socket in the rocks.

Guided tours are not my preferred way of seeing things but sometimes it's the only way to gain access and you do learn a lot from the guides. It was an hour and a half tour which included a boat ride and some amazing sights.

In the end I was really happy I stopped, even if it wasn't the place I thought I was going to. Although the photos don't do it justice I hope you can see it was an awe inspiring place and I certainly understand why it's been in business since 1843.


  1. Caves are fascinating places; not for the claustrophobic, but these don't look too cramped from the pictures, which I'm sure don't do them justice. Beautiful.

  2. I LOVE the billboards!

  3. Now I want to go. Sorry to read about your nasty fall, but glad it was a computer guy to help you out.

  4. Yeah Jeff, computer guys seem to be the nice ones!I'm recovering fast but am going nuts waiting to get back on the road. Patience is not my strong point....

  5. That looks like a swell place, I expected something more offbeat from the look of the signs.

    And if you haven't been caverened out by the time you're in the area - Retro Roadhusband and I were blown away by the Luray Caverns in Luray VA. Mindblowing!