Penn's Cave, pa
Centuries ago, the Seneca Indians discovered this natural landmark in the Valley of Karoondinha (Penn’s Valley). The famous legend of the Indian maiden, Nita-nee (from whom the famous Penn State Nittany Lion got its name) and her French trapper lover, Malachi Boyer, has been told around campfires for generations. Forbidden to marry because of an Indian custom, they ran away and were captured, and Malachi was thrown into Penn’s Cave to die. Local history also tells of Indians and early explorers using the dry rooms for shelter. In 1885, Penn’s Cave opened as a commercial show cavern, and the Penn’s Cave Hotel was built. In 1976, Penn’s Cave and the Penn’s Cave House were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Caves and bacon
I visited Penn's Cave on my way out to Harrisburg a little while ago. Surrounded by farmland and sunflower fields it's quite a magical place. The cave its self is waist deep with water so the only way to experience it is by boat. When you visit you'll head into the gift shop area buy your ticket for about 20$ and/or another 20$ for the farm-wildlife tour which is a 90-minute, guided Tour given by bus through the grazing pastures, mountain trails and forests. There is a couple other fun things for kids to do like a maze and prospecting for gems but I only had time to do the Cave tour. We walked down a walk to an opening with a number of stairs, descending, the summer air started to chill. Once we reached the cave entrance we were greeted by a guide on a long boat. After a few mins of loading up and a short safety talk we were off into the cave. The guide was funny, nice, and informative, making sure to answer any questions we had. Through the cave system we would stop to turn on and off lights to unveil immense areas of cave formations. Delving deeper into the cave we seen another boat returning and we all waved as we passed. Once we reached the end of the cave, it opened up to a small lake encompassed by the wildlife animals from the other tour. After a quick turn around Lake Nitanee we started back into the cave and back to the dock we departed from. This was a fun and photo friendly place with tons of history and fun things to do, I can't wait to go back.
Penn’s Cave, the only cave in Pennsylvania on the National Register of Historic Places, features glittering stalactites and stalagmites, often in mysteriously familiar shapes, such as “The Statue of Liberty” and “The Garden of the Gods.” See how dripping water has sculpted magnificent flowstone, curtains, cascades, and draperies against a background of pillars and gigantic columns.
The guided, interpretive tour by flat-bottom motorboat winds through cavern passageways and, when weather and conditions permit*, includes a ride on Lake Nitanee. The motorboats accommodate 20-22 persons. There are 48 steps leading to the cave’s main entrance, which is not handicapped accessible.
We recommend bringing a jacket or sweater, as the inside temperature of the cave remains 52 degrees F year ‘round! Comfortable walking shoes are advised. Photos are permitted.
visit their website for more information and pricing.