Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adventuring at the Howe Caverns - Howes Cave, NY

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Howe Caverns is an underground cave system here and is 2nd only to Niagara Falls as the most visited Natural attraction in New York state.

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First stop on the tour is the animatronic Lester Howe, who tells us how, with the help of his cows, he discovered the entrance to the Howe Caverns. More of the history over here.
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One of the formations looks like a dinosaur head. If you don't see it, it is the one lighted red on the right.
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The dinosaur head on the left and the pagoda on the right.
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The Chinese Pagoda.
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The 2 witches and the big turtle. The 2nd witch was not really that obvious.
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When you go down the caverns, the guide will tell you that you can't touch any of the walls or formations because the oils or whatever substance that we have  on our hands will slowly erode the stone. But halfway through the tour they have 2 formations that you can touch all you want. Yup, it still felt like stone to me...
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This chamber was the most impressive in the caverns and of course they have a photo station right there where for $10 you can buy the picture when you're done with the tour.
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Loved the reflection on the 1st picture. The picture on the right where the guide stuck her head in was quite interesting. You could sing into the formation and it would resonate through the whole room.
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They said that the any cave system would have the average temperature of the area where it's at. In our case, it is a constant 52 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 12deg Celsius for you metric folks) with 70-75% humidity. Very cold and it is highly recommended to have at least some form of light jacket when you go in. The tour is also an hour and a half long with no bathrooms underground so make sure to go on a bathroom break before the tour.
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This is cute, Apparently over 600 couples have been married at this spot. They call it the "Bridal Altar" and the guide said that if you step on the heart and kiss, you will have marital bliss forever!
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The best part for me was the "Winding Way" where you go through a series of winding passage ways that were really tight in some corners. Better watch your head!
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All in all, it was a good, fun experience and definitely worth making the trip. I forgot to mention that they have a boat ride down the end of the tour before you head back. It was nice to sit after the long walk and just look at the formations but it was a bit gimmicky for me. It was actually more enjoyable to watch the guides navigate the boats and manage the traffic. They also have a new zipline/adventure park added outside for the those who are not afraid of heights. Enjoy!

Howe Caverns
255 Discovery Drive
Howes Cave, NY 12092
518-296-8900 (Cavern & Adventure Park)
518-296-8950 (Motel)

Howe Caverns Open 7 Days a Week Year Round.
Cave Hours
9 am to 6 pm April 1 - October 31
9 am to 5 pm November 1 - March 31
Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas 

Adventure Park Hours
9 am to 6 pm April 1 - October 31
Weather Permitting 

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