Pennsylvania's most historic limestone cavern    Est. 1929

The Cave and tour


Indian Caverns is located beneath a foothill of Tussey Mountain, part of the Allegheny Front. It is a horizontal karst cave made up of Ordovician limestone deposited about 405 million years ago. While the oldest section is partially a fracture cave, the system was formed primarily by solution – with carbonic acid in the ground water dissolving the softer rock to form the passageways.

The cavern was later enlarged though erosion as water from glacial runoff swirled through the passageways, creating more expansive chambers.

Reaching a depth of 140 feet (42 meters), the cavern has chambers up to 40 feet (12 meters) wide and 60 feet (18 meters) high. The tour covers just under a mile of cavern, though the cave system itself is much more extensive. It is the largest limestone cavern in the state of Pennsylvania.



Indian Caverns is a "living" cavern – the majority of the dripstone and flowstone formations are still active and growing 1 cubic inch every 120 years.  There are countless speleothems (cave formations) in the cavern, including stalactites, stalagmites, columns, soda straws, cave coral, drapery, popcorn, sawtooth, some small helectites, a rimstone pool, and the largest sheet of flowstone in the northeast that we refer to as "The Frozen Niagara."

 



The tour itself is conducted by an experienced, well-informed guide.  Our guides have various backgrounds including conservation, natural history, education, and nature photography.  They will carefully explain the complete history of the cavern and its use since prehistoric times including but not limited to the Native American history and artifacts found in the cave, local folklore connected with the cave as well as the description and identification of the formations that are found extensively inside.


The main attraction, of course, is the cave itself, which displays considerable variety in structure from narrow, winding passages to expansive chambers with towering ceilings; from rooms divided by huge, angular blocks of breakdown to sculpted walls smoothed by glacial run-off. There is much variety in the cavern formations, ranging from massive sheets of flowstone to delicate soda straw stalactites, from an intricate rimstone pool to sturdy, ornate columns. A trip through the cave is stimulating fun for visitors of all ages.

The tour covers nearly a mile of electrically illuminated splendor. Concrete and gravel walkways (with a few short flights of stairs) enable even senior visitors to tour the cave with ease. The air is pure and invigorating and the cavern temperature is a constant 56º Fahrenheit (13º C) all year. It is recommended that visitors bring a light sweater or jacket and wear comfortable walking shoes.

 



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