Finally, A Century Old Question Will Be Answered!
What’s Behind Those Dam Doors?
VIEW AREAS OF THE CAVE NOT SEEN IN 100 YEARS
WHEN YOU BOOK THE
SIGNATURE ROCK DISCOVERY TOUR!
PLEASE CALL 518-296-8900 TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS TODAY!
PLAN FOR 3 HOURS FOR COMPLETE TOUR.
EVERYONE MUST BE 14 YEARS OR OLDER.
COST OF TOUR IS $155 PLUS TAX PER PERSON.
This tour is available May 1st through October 31st only.
Please plan accordingly and book early as space is limited!
Family fun destination Howe Caverns Adventure Park has unveiled its newest and “oldest” cave tour, The Signature Rock Discovery Tour. The 2.5 hour exploration tour reveals the mysteries of portions of the caverns that have not been open to the public in over 100 years.
Howe Caverns’ main attraction is its living, limestone cave, carved by an underground river over the course of millions of years, located 156 feet (15 stories) below the earth’s surface. It is the second most visited natural attraction in the state of New York, second only to Niagara Falls. Howe Caverns has been in operation since 1842 and offering guided tours for 86 years, as the largest Show Cave in the Northeast.
Howe Caverns is excited to be able to introduce our guests to the full story of Lester Howe’s discovery and provide them with additional history of the caverns. Howe Caverns has developed this project to further commemorate Lester’s remarkable story. We are pleased to finally be able to answer the public’s number one burning question on our traditional tour, ‘What’s behind the dam doors?’ and truly excited to be able to open this portion of the caverns to the public.
For the more adventuresome, the new Signature Rock Discovery Tour takes visitors behind the mysterious dam doors that mark the furthest point of the Traditional Tour of the caverns. During the 2.5 hour journey, voyagers will have the opportunity to explore formations, walkways, tunnels and rooms, as well as see relics from the cavern’s historic past. The passageway for the new tour remains untouched and does not contain any modern conveniences such as lights or walkways. This will give guests the opportunity to view the cave exactly as it would have been when it was last visited by the public in 1900. Traveling by boat, on foot and on hands and knees, those who take the new tour will be introduced to lighting, sounds and sights unlike those on the Traditional Tour. A major highlight of the tour is Signature Rock itself, containing hundreds of initials and signatures dating back to 1843, including the notable signatures of Howe and Phi Delta Theta ΦΔΘ.
The Signature Rock Discovery Tour takes Howe Caverns tours to the next level, offering unique experiences and greater exploration. We are hoping that those who have already experienced our Traditional Tour or Adventure Tour will want to come back to discover the mysteries beyond the point they’ve been able to travel previously.
The Signature Rock Discovery Tour will be open starting May 1, 2016. The tour will not be offered from Columbus Day through May 1st. Reservations are required. Guests must be 14 years of age or older. Helmets with headlamps, boots and other necessary gear will be provided. For more information and to make a reservation call 518-296-8900.
Signature Rock Discovery Tour Overview
Since 1900, the 1200 foot section of the Signature Rock Discovery Tour has been closed to the public leaving Howe Caverns visitors perplexed and wondering what might be behind the dam doors at the furthest point of the Traditional Cave Tour. Opening to the public May 3, 2015, the Signature Rock Discovery Tour will finally reveal the mystery behind the doors and open a new world of fascination, sights and memories to visitors.
The Signature Rock Discovery Tour is a 2.5 hour adventure, with visitors donning boots and helmets as they journey through the halls, tunnels and walkways of the original cavern discovery. Sights, lighting and sounds are dramatically different than what guests experience on the Traditional Tour.
Highlights of the new tour include:
installed in the early 1900’s by Helderberg Cement Co. after 900 ft. of the cave was destroyed by mining for limestone.
The Old Boat:
remains of Lester Howe’s boat that he used for transporting visitors across the Lake of Venus (then known as Stygian Lake).
The Music Hall:
sound was said to echo better in this area than any other part of the cave.
used to circulate air, provide air conditioning to the lodge (originally Howe’s idea), and to prevent fumes caused by blasting at the quarry from entering the cave.
believed to be installed by Howe, these were part of his efforts to improve the cave and increase business after the Civil War. One pipeline provided running water for the Cave House and the other provided the cave with gas lighting.
named for its size and resonating qualities.
sparkling deposits that occur when limestone absorbs water; in the 1800s, gypsum was mined out of many caves for the production of gunpowder.
a long tall room with a seemingly bottomless pit on the left and the sound of rushing water echoing from below.
a massive flowstone foundation, including hundreds of initials and notable signatures dating back to 1843– only revealed to those who visit.