Ultimate Guide to Coudersport Ice Mine, Pennsylvania (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
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Coudersport Ice Mine is one of the oddest natural wonders in Pennsylvania that is tucked away in the hills of Potter County. The mine was accidentally discovered by prospectors searching for silver among the mountains just outside Coudersport.
Coudersport Ice Mine, Pennsylvania
This mine has been drawing tourists since it was found and now features among the top things to do in Coudersport. Not many people knew that the area was never mined for ice, although some locals used it to store food occasionally. Despite the site’s uniqueness, it was closed to the public in the late 1980s but was reopened again in 2014 by the new owners.
History of Coudersport Ice Mine
One of the natural wonders of Pennsylvania, was discovered by prospectors who were searching for silver in the mountains just outside Coudersport. The men removed the moss from the hillside and were shocked to discover a layer of ice on the hot summer day. They continued to dig and soon opened a shaft roughly 10 ft long and a depth of 25 ft. They found large pieces of ice, remains of humans and fishes, and several fossils inside the shaft.
However, until today, no one can explain how ice gets formed in this narrow area. Many theories have been forwarded over the years, but the most accepted theory is that cold air from the mountains flows through the many crevices around the ice mine as the air gets warm slowly. This creates a cold spot where ice can form during the summer months.
Geological Cave Formations in Coudersport Ice Mine
This place is a puzzling geological phenomenon. Ice begins to form in the spring in this 40 ft deep cave, and it increases in volume as the outside temperature gets hotter and hotter. If you come here on a hot summer day and stand outside the mine, you can feel the cool breeze from the ice formed inside the rocks.
Wildlife in Coudersport Ice Mine
No known wildlife species can be found inside, although many fossils and remains of dead fishes have been found here.
Is Coudersport Ice Mine Haunted?
There is no record of any haunting at this time.
How Big is Coudersport Ice Mine?
The cave is about 10 ft long, 40 ft deep, and 8 ft wide.
Coudersport Ice Mine Tours
The tour starts from the visitor center, and the ice mine is located less than 25 ft from the ticket counter, making it a very easily accessible site for anyone. The mine is located behind a small building that serves as a viewing platform. The tour guides will lead you to a single room that is significantly colder than the surrounding areas. The visitors will not find much to see here, but there is a hole in the ground that is filled with ice.
Unfortunately, no visitor can go into the mine, but you can peer into the ice mine below from the viewing platforms or one of the many vantage points available here. The buildup of ice is very impressive. Small icicles flank large ice columns, and the entire bottom is covered with a thick layer of ice. Cool air comes out of the mine, which is refreshing but quite cold. Coudersport Ice Mine must be visited at least once as it is the only natural ice mine in the world.
Coudersport Ice Mine Tour Prices and Discounts
The Coudersport Ice Mine tour prices are
- Adults – USD 5
- Children – USD 2.50
Is Coudersport Ice Mine Cold?
Coudersport Ice Mine is strange as the ice forms here only during summer, and the mine remains empty in the winter.
What to Wear?
You can wear loose clothing to feel comfortable, and a good pair of walking shoes is recommended as a little bit of walking is involved in getting to the mine.
Coudersport Ice Mine Hours
The Mine remains open from Wednesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. The mine remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
What to Do at Coudersport Ice Mine (Beside Tours)
The mine is the chief attraction here, and it attracts around 10,000 visitors every season. Apart from the mine, there is not much to see or do here, but you can always enjoy nature all around. Kids would love the gem panning center, where they get a chance to sift through the dirtbag at the sluice and discover precious gems which they can keep as souvenirs.
There are several dining places nearby to enjoy a great meal with your family members. If you have time in hand, you should also visit the Gift Shop, overflowing with T-shirts, sweatshirts, and Ice Mine souvenirs.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit would always be summer as, due to an unexplained natural phenomenon, the mine always gets the ice in summer. The mine tends to produce more ice as the surrounding temperature increases. So, summer is the best time to check out this natural wonder.
How to Get to the Coudersport Ice Mine
It is in Northern Pennsylvania and around 4 hours north of Lancaster County. It is in the heart of Elk Country and near the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. Parking is limited on the premises, so you may have to wait a little bit if you come here during the peak times.
Hotels near Coudersport Ice Mine
If you want a place to stay, Millstream Inn is a great choice. Frosty Hollow B&B has received wonderful reviews from guests, and campers will find many state parks in the vicinity of Coudersport Ice Mine, such as Cherry Springs, Denton Hill, Patterson, and Prouty Place.
Places To Stay Nearby
Coudersport Ice Mine Fun Facts
- The Ice Mine was closed to visitors in the 1980s, but the new owners purchased it, and it was again opened to the public in 2014.
- The Ice Mine remains almost empty in the winter, and it gets filled with ice only during the summer months!
Coudersport Ice Mine Details
- Length: 10 ft
- Time Recommended: 1 to 2 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Kid-friendly: Yes
- Dog-friendly: Yes
- Fees: USD 5 for adults
- Hours: 10 am to 6 pm
Download our Coudersport Ice Mine Guide (Unofficial)
Visiting Coudersport Ice Mine
Do you need more information before visiting Coudersport Ice Mine? Call (814) 274 – 9900 for an information packet.
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