I visited Niagara Falls few years back and I was looking for some pit stops on the way. This was the first time I came to know about Howe Cavern in upstate New York. I skipped visiting Howe Cavern at that time but added it to my bucket list. This summer we went to Howe Cavern with our daughter and friends. I have never been to any caves (Except the famous Indian Vaishno Devi gufa) so for me it was a new adventure. Howe Cavern are very old but the first man to enter the cave did so in the early 1770s. I am not a big history lover so skipping the history part right here and moving on.
Howe Cavern Tour: It’s a paid tour and one guide takes you in a group all the way down to the caves. He will give you all the details about hidden factors which we don’t know and they were quite interesting. As far as pictures are concerned, it’s mainly the rocks everywhere with dim lights. The guide explained so many scientific words which was tough for me to even remember. There is not much life down there so don’t worry about any hidden creatures 🙂 . We didn’t even see any bats because they have locked that area of caves and tourists are not allowed there (good thing right 🙂 ). You can click as many pictures as you want and I forgot my DSLR at home (I was so glad that someone invented phones with cameras).
The toddler factor: There is a reason I added ‘with a toddler’ in the title of this blog. Few things I wanted to share for the parents who want to visit Howe Cavern with their kids.
- You cannot take strollers, diaper bags etc. to the caves. The complete tour is of around 90 minutes and you have to walk all the time except the boating part. My super energetic daughter kept on running and she surely enjoyed the walk in the caves.
- It was little cold inside the caves. So dress your kiddo accordingly.
Boat Ride: It was definitely a highlight of the tour. Their boats are completely manual and gives you a classic feel of old times. They have handles attached to the ceiling which were used for giving direction to boat. After running behind our daughter for almost half an hour, sitting on the boat was very relaxing.
My favorite Part: After the boat ride, you walk into this beautiful passage. We could not leave our daughter to walk alone this time because it was very narrow and complicated for her age. Also she won’t leave my goggles and I bet she was not able to see anything inside caves at that time (check our embedded video for her love of my goggles in the caves and this beautiful passage).
The Bridal Alter: One more interesting thing to watch in How Cavern is the Bridal Alter. It’s been said that more than 600 couples have tied the knots on this glowing heart. It’s made of calcium. Our guide told us that if a couple stands on the heart and they are not married, they will be married within a year. If you are already married then you will go on second honeymoon soon. I didn’t get our picture there because my daughter was very tired by then. But my friends were able to get some nice pictures (they don’t have kids yet 🙂 ). For me the bridals alter worked because I am going on my long awaited trip very soon.
Left part of the picture is Chinese Pagoda rock formation, this was the only rock that tourists were allowed to touch.
Famous mouse Story: See this picture of the mouse (yes it is a MOUSE), as per the guide it’s there from 20 years. The guide told us this story where 20 years back, a boy scout was on the tour and one of them had a mouse in his pocket. The mouse bit him and boy threw it in the icy water. Mouse went into shock, jumped out of the water, and hit this piece of the cavern rock and froze there. I don’t know if it’s true or not but it was funny for sure.
Picnic Area and Gift shop: Howe Caverns is not just about caves. They have gift shop, ice-cream shops and a restaurant too.
You can bring home food and eat at their picnic area or you can enjoy their adventure park and mining area.
We came back with lots of memories and experience of a real cave. They have other tour options too. Like candle tour, night tours etc. Candle tour sounds very adventures but it’s not for people like me. Overall it was a good day for all of us. If you have ever visited Howe cavern then share your experience with us.