The Best List of Caves in Pennsylvania
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Are there caves in Pennsylvania? Yes, it is believed that Mother Nature has worked her magic underground for many millions of years to create an entirely different underground world. The subterranean world has incredible rock formations, delicate crystals, and beautiful sculptures.
We know this world as caves or caverns, and they tell us a lot about how our earth has evolved. Since the region has a thick layer of limestone, Pennsylvania has a treasure of caves in its kitty. There are in excess of thousand caves in Pennsylvania, and each of these caverns has distinct features that make one cave different from the other.
The Top Caves to Visit in Pennsylvania
Do you want to do something different in Pennsylvania? Then we suggest that you go spelunking as the state has some remarkable caves. But before you decide to head for any particular cave, it is a good idea to call them up to make sure they are open. Some of the most famous caves in the state are –
- Tytoona Cave
- Port Kennedy Bone Cave
- Penns Cave
- Lost River Caverns
- Laurel Caverns
- Indian Echo Caverns
- Indian Caverns
- Crystal Cave
- Coudersport Ice Mine
- Lincoln Caverns and Whisper Rocks
- Woodward Cave
- Coral Caverns
We understand that it is almost impossible for you to check out each cave that has found a place on the list. So let’s break this down a bit into small groups so that you can make an easy decision on which caves to visit.
Best Caves in Pennsylvania
We now shift our attention to the specific details of some of the best caves in the state.
Show Caves in Pennsylvania
Here are a couple of show caves in Pennsylvania that you must visit as soon as possible for a unique and beautiful experience.
Crystal Cave, Kutztown
Crystal Cave has various natural formations, and it has been labeled as the first show cave in Pennsylvania. Spread across 15 acres, Crystal Cave is the most visited cavern in the state since 1871. As you step inside the cave, you will be amazed to see the natural crystal formations created by Mother Nature.
The sparkling colors of the aragonite and calcite crystals are indeed awe-inducing. Experts regard it as a geological wonderland as it has a fair share of stalagmites, stalactites, and much more. The one-hour walking tour is informative and is held along concrete walkways. On the cave premises, you will come across a lovely gift shop, a nature trail, a museum, and mini-golf facilities.
Lincoln Caverns, Huntingdon
Located on Route 22, the Lincoln Caverns has one of the most comprehensive educational programs among Pennsylvania show caves. Apart from the academic programs, the cave also organizes special events such as Batfest, T-Rex Tuesdays, Photography Tours, Discovery Days, and more.
The best part is that Lincoln Caverns is open throughout the year, but you need to check their website for updated hours.
Check out the list of caves in other states:
Crystal Caves in Pennsylvania
Lost River Caverns, Hellertown
The main highlights of Lost River Caverns are the five cave chambers that have crystal formations and a beautiful underground river. The tour will take you through an estimated 1200 ft of lighted walkways that include a few ramps and steps. The Lost River Caverns has several amenities, such as a mineral museum, a picnic grove, and an indoor tropical garden.
Natural Caves in Pennsylvania
Laurel Caverns, Hopwood
Laurel Caverns is the largest cave in the state, with three miles of caverns. But there is no need to worry as there are guided tours to ensure that you never get lost. The cave remains closed during winter to allow the resident bats to hibernate.
The guided tours are conducted through well-lit passageways, but if you feel a bit of adrenaline rush, you can opt for the three-hour spelunking tour. Since it is a natural cave and follows the mountain slope, walking can be a bit strenuous for some people.
Coral Caverns, Manns Choice
The Coral Caverns have all the features that most of the caves have and a unique fossil wall. The wall the fossilized remains of the coral and other sea creatures that are more than 400 million years old. It is popular among cave explorers as it has an abundance of stalagmites and stalactites.
Water Caves in Pennsylvania
Penn’s Cave, Center Hall
Penn’s Cave is the only all-water cavern in the US that was discovered in 1885. There is a farm just above the cave, and when you take a tour of the cave, you will get to know about the different aspects of the farm above the ground. The fully guided cave tour is conducted on a motorboat and lasts for 45 min.
There is no other way to see the cave. Each boat holds around 20 people, and you need to board the boat at the cave entrance. Once inside the cave, you will enjoy the unique cave formations named The Statue of Liberty and the Garden of Gods. As the boat exits the cave, you will then have a ride on Lake Nitanee. From the lake, one can see the barn above the cave and other wildlife such as bison and bears.
Indian Echo Caverns, Hummelstown
The caves at the Indian Echo Caverns are full of history and local legends. It feels great to know that you will tread the same path that the early explorers and the Susquehannock Indians once trampled upon.
There is a guided tour of 45 minutes that will let you absorb the stunningly beautiful underground. Apart from the various rooms, you will see incredible geological formations and crystal-clear waters of the underground lake.
Limestone Caves in Pennsylvania
Woodward Caves, Woodward
The Woodward Caves is one of those caves that is easily walked and has well-lit, large passageways. The guided cave tour will take you through five different rooms, and you will get to witness one of the largest stalagmites in the US – the Tower of Babel.
One of the rooms in these caves was occupied by the Seneca Indians, and this room was named the Red Panther Room by the early settlers. It is widely reported that a band of robbers took shelter in this cave more than a century ago. The cave is next to an RV campground, and there is also a gift shop, a picnic pavilion, and a lunch stand.
Port Kennedy Bone Cave
The Port Kennedy Bone Cave is a limestone cave of the Valley Forge National Historical Park. The cave contains fossils deposits that are almost 750,000 years old. Some of the fossils that are available here are unique and not available anywhere else.
Ice Caves in Pennsylvania
Most people like to escape from the summer heat with a trip to the beach, but you need to visit the ice cave for a cooling effect when you are in Pennsylvania.
Coudersport Ice Mine
The hidden summer getaway of the Appalachian Mountains has been re-opened to the public after it was unceremoniously closed for 25 years! The strangest part of the cave is that it produces ice only in the summertime, and it tends to produce more ice when the surrounding temperature gets higher.
However, when winter falls, the ice in the cave melts away. The phenomenon is mysterious, leading many people to believe that the cave is artificial, which, in reality, is not. If you forget the significant anomaly that this cave presents, Coudersport Ice Mine is indeed a great place to escape the sultry heat of the summer.
Free Caves in Pennsylvania
The majority of the popular caves in the state require you to pay an entrance fee, but some give free access to the people.
Located approximately 1 mile from Arch Springs, the Tytoona Cave is a relatively lesser-known cavern and largely undiscovered. The cave is of significant importance in the US as its history dates back to 1788. The entrance of the cave is large and located at the bottom of a massive sinkhole.
There are a few large and dry rooms inside the cave, which resembles an airlock chamber. The room is never affected by the changing water levels of the cave system.
Indian Caves in Pennsylvania
Indian Caverns, Spruce Creek
If you want to know about the Native Americans, you must come down to Indian Caverns at least once. There is almost a mile of paved and gravel path in the cavern, and visitors can learn about the history of this cavern by exploring the artifacts left behind by the Native Americans. The Indian Cavern is a living cavern which means that the flowstone formations are still active.
Other articles you may find interesting:
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- Ultimate Guide to Cave of the Mounds, Wisconsin (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Penn’s Cave, Pennsylvania (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Lost River Caverns, Pennsylvania (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
- Ultimate Guide to Lake Shasta Caverns, California (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)