Lester Howe


New York State's Second Most Visited Natural Attraction!

Geological Features of Howe Caverns

The walls of Howe Caverns consist of two types of limestone (Coeymans and Manlius) from different periods in the Earth’s early history, as well as a rock known as Rondout waterred.

The Manlius limestone is seen most clearly and is the most abundant, while Coeymans limestone can be seen in the upper portion of the cave near the entrance. Coeymans limestone is more difficult to dissolve than the Manlius variety, so the water naturally chose a lower path through the Manlius layer. As a result, almost perfectly flat ceilings can be seen in parts of the cavern, which are actually the underside of the Coeymans limestone layer. Rondout waterred is the cream-colored rock that runs along the underground stream.

Scientists believe all of these rock layers were laid down by the ancient, extinct sea during the Silurian and Devonian periods of our Earth’s formation. They are all sedimentary rock, formed by layers of deposits which settle out of a body of water and are then compressed into solid rock. To give you an idea of the age of these rocks, scientists estimate the Silurian Age began about 435 million years ago and ended when the Devonian Age began around 395 million years ago.

While there are a few fossils visible in the cavern walls, the main fossil beds lie in the layers of limestone above the cavern ceiling. This means the rock from which Howe Caverns is carved is older than most fossils. But the building process in Howe Caverns is never done! Nature is still hard at work in the great cave – as proven by the fact that we still hear, see and feel the droplets of water falling – and the cavern’s face is always changing. It changes so slowly that the smudges left by smoking torches nearly a century ago can still be seen on the glowing flowstone walls today.

Traditional Cave Tours

Whether you live in New York, want to take a day trip, or are looking for a fun affordable overnight stay, Howe Caverns is one of the most exciting NYS natural attractions. On your journey you will wind through limestone corridors, pass through cavernous galleries, walk under massive boulders, and take a serene boat ride on a subterranean riverbed carved over countless millennia. The cave is 52°F (11°C) so a jacket or sweatshirt and closed-toed comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Flip flops are NOT permitted in the cave. The cave tour consists of a 1.25 mile walk with a 0.25 mile boat ride. There are 139 stairs throughout the tour.

Get ready to experience the most immersive escape rooms in the Capital Region. 

“The Cave” is the first of three high-tech escape rooms to open at Howe Caverns.
Do you think YOU know HOWE TO ESCAPE!?

The Ultra-Max penitentiary known as “The Cave” houses the most notorious criminal geniuses in the country. Built 15 stories underground, The Cave has the latest in cutting-edge escape deterrent technology deployed in the facility. Many infamous individuals have spent the waning years of their lives behind its triple-reinforced cell walls and state-of-the-art security systems. This distinguished clientele has resulted in multiple escape attempts, but none have been successful… until now! A motley crew of the criminal elite, led by maniacal mastermind, Stu “The Flu” Galopso, have done the impossible and breached the confines of their containment sector. Society’s most dangerous and unpredictable fugitives are now at large, and only YOU can stop them!

Escape Room By Reservation Only

All ticket sales are nonrefundable, non-transferable, and may not be exchanged.