Howe Caverns Adventure Tours
Finally, A Century Old Question Will Be Answered:
What’s Behind Those Dam Doors?
Family fun destination Howe Caverns Adventure Park has unveiled its newest and “oldest” spelunking 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.
We supply helmets, gear, and experienced tour guides. Finally! The answer to the century old question “What’s behind those dam doors?”.Climb over the dam and wade through the streambed to see our famous rock where Lester Howe carved his name over a century ago. This tour is geared towards those looking for a physical caving adventure.
Signature Rock tours will only be offered at 12pm, noon, 1 tour per day.
Since 1900, the 1,200 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. Opened to the public May 3, 2015, the Signature Rock Discovery Tour revealed the mystery behind the doors opening a new world of fascination, sights and memories for adventurous 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.
The Dam: 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:
The remains of Lester Howe’s boat that he used for transporting visitors across the Lake of Venus.
The Music Hall:
The sound was said to echo better in this area than any other part of the cave system.
The Fan 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.
The pipeline is believed to have been installed by Howe himself. These were part of the 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.
This is a long tall room with a seemingly bottomless pit on the left and the sound of rushing water echoing from below.
This massive flowstone formation, including hundreds of initials and notable signatures dates back to 1843– and is only revealed to those who visit*.
This tour is available May 1st through October 31st only.Guests must be at least 14 years old to participate.
Please plan accordingly and book early as space is limited!
You Supply the Gumption,
We will supply the gear! You will be glad you have coveralls, gloves, boots, knee pads and a lighted helmet when you twist and crawl your way through this two hour, one of a kind, spelunking adventure with one of our experienced Howe Caverns guides. Your guide will take you through the Mystery Passage, across the dry underground stream bed and up to the Great Rotunda. The Great Rotunda is a 107-foot high, silo-shaped natural dome and is now reachable by visitors for the first time in more than 125 years.
Please dress appropriately for maximum comfort during your tour. The cavern environment is a constant 52° Fahrenheit / 11° Celsius and 70-75% humidity, year round.
- Tour Reservations can be made by calling Howe Caverns at 518-296-8900
- Reservations Required 48 Hours Advance Notice Needed for Cancellation
- Please Note: When you call to make reservations the following information for all participants will be required – Height, Weight, Shoe Size & Helmet size (Lg/Sm)
- You must sign the release and liability waiver (downloadable below) to go on the Adventure Tour.
- You may download the release form to read prior to your tour, sign, and bring it with you.
- A credit card is required to make reservations
- Adventure Tour rate will be charged at the time of the reservation
- Due to limited availability, any cancellation must be made 48 hours prior to tour time for a refund. Notice provided less than 48 hours prior to tour will not be refunded.
- The per-person charge includes rental of all outer wear (flashlights, coveralls, gloves, boots, knee pads and lighted helmet).
- Adventure Tour guests also receive a souvenir and certificate memorializing their accomplishment.
- No discounts are available for Spelunking Adventure Tours.
(No Online Tickets) Guests must be at least 12 years old to participate
Anyone under the Age of 18 needs to be accompanied by an adult on the tour.