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Howe Caverns: A Photo Tour


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Welcome to Howe Caverns
Welcome to Howe Caverns

Welcome to Howe Caverns, a unique underground attraction in central New York State.

© 2005 Kim Knox Beckius
As you approach Howe Caverns, located in Howes Cave, NY, near the town of Cobleskill in New York State's Central-Leatherstocking region, you may be impressed by the large "Howe Caverns" lettering on the lawn and the Tudor-style buildings that house the ticket window, seasonal café and gift shop.

What you may not realize is that the natural attraction you've come to visit is completely out of view.

Far beneath this imposing complex on a serene hilltop lies a wondrous underground world formed over the course of six million years. Tour groups board an elevator for a 16-story, 156-foot descent into the Earth and step out into a limestone cave that is every bit the marvel it was in 1842 when farmer Lester Howe discovered it... with the help of his cows.

Howe wondered why his cows didn't seek shade like other cows. They regularly clustered around a spot on his neighbor's property, a spot that, on investigation, proved to be remarkably chilly. After hunting around in some bushes, Howe found the entrance to a cave, and on May 22, 1842, he and his neighbor, Henry Wetsel, entered the caverns for the first time.

More than 14 million people have explored Howe Caverns since it formally opened to the public in 1929. I first visited Howe Caverns more than 15 years ago, so I didn't expect to be wowed the second time around... but I was. On this photo tour, I'll show you some of the distinctive features of Howe Caverns and share tips to help you plan your own underground adventure.

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