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Frozen Niagara.

Taking the Secret Caverns Tour

Cobleskill, New York

A Secret Caverns tour is a personal experiment in luck and synchronicity. It's advertised at 45 minutes, but sometimes, late in the day, your tour may move along a bit quicker. "The record time is 11 minutes from start to finish," says guide Kurt Piller.

Caves of the Northeast are skimpy when it comes to dramatic formations, and Secret's passageway is no exception. But the guides make the best of it.

Guide Kurt Piller: Watch your head here.
Guide Kurt Piller: Watch your head here.

Kurt: "This formation is known as the Giant's False Teeth, or, in Spanish...(pause) I don't remember. I'm working on my multi-lingual tour."

Todd: "Also called bloated fuzzy rib taco."

Kurt: "Misshapen bagel is my favorite of the summer. Armadillo, Cave Iguana, Nixon riding a dolphin off into the distance..."

Todd: "It's an interpretive formation."

Secret's guides are quite knowledgeable about speleology, karst hydrology, phreatics, plate tectonics -- you just never know when you're getting the benefit of that knowledge. The age of the cave is always up for grabs -- on a recent Amish-heavy expedition, the guide said it was 6,000 years old. "And we gave them the Amish discount," Todd notes.

Secret's budding geologists have been known to estimate the Frozen Niagara's age at "693 billion years," a fact that never fazes visitors. The Frozen Niagara still bears the scars of a crude surgery committed nearly 70 years ago, when a heart-shaped slab of calcite was removed to enhance the floor of Howe's Bridal Chamber. "We're proud to say that no one has been tacky enough to get married in this cave," Kurt points out.

Guide Todd DelMarter sniffs the Head of Bob Marley's Evil Twin.
Guide Todd DelMarter sniffs the Head of Bob Marley's Evil Twin.

Secret Caverns

671 Caverns Rd, Cobleskill, NY
I-88 Exit 22. Turn north onto Hwy 145, then immediately turn right onto Hwy 7. Drive a little over a mile, then turn left onto Caverns Rd. Follow the billboards about 1.5 miles to Secret Caverns on the left.
Daily April-Dec. 11-3, hourly tours (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Tour $18. Cash only.
RA Rates:
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