Penn’s Cave And The Wildlife Park
Penn’s Cave and the Wildlife Park
Hello there! I am back with another travel post. I have been traveling lot during recent days and couldn’t find time to pen-down. Maybe I couldn’t manage time efficiently. But I am learning to utilize it effectively and efficiently. Hope to master it in near future.
It’s my wish to bring my Amma and Appa to the States and take them to places enthroned by Mother Nature. I would say part of Dream came true. Yes, My Amma is here and I have been touring the places near to Burgh. We visited the magnificent – Penn’s Cave a couple of weeks back.
Penn’s Cave – America’s Only All-Water Cavern
We started after breakfast from Burgh and it was a 3-hrs drive from Pittsburgh. We reached the place around our lunch time. As always, I packed lunch for us! Homemade food is the best.
The Penn’s Cave is one of the magnificent places to visit and a perfect spot for the entire family to spend a day. There is a history behind this caves.
History of Penn’s Cave:
A young Frenchman from the Lancaster county – Malachi Boyer was set out to explore the forests and its wilderness in the 18th century. He fell in love with Nitt-nee, daughter of the chief O-Ko-Kho and the only sister of her seven brothers. They carefully guarded her all the time. Malachi and Nitta-nee decided to run away from her father. But then they were captured by her brothers on their way to eastern settlements. The chief ordered his sons to take Malachi to the cavern filled with water and dump him in. The cave had only one entrance which was guarded by the Indians. Being exhausted by his efforts to escape, Malachi crawled to the furthermost part of the caverns and breathed his last. Later, his body was tied with stones and dropped into the deepest part of the ocean.
It’s believed that even now during summer nights, an echo sounding “Nitta-nee” still rings through the caverns. The woman is honored with Nittany Mountain and Nittany Valley which are named after her.
Penn’s cave was opened to visitors on 1885 with Jesse and Samuel built a boat to tour around the cave. Later the cave was carved to lead to a man-made lake Nitanee, which allows the visitors to tour the cave and tour the lake through the exit at the far end of the cave.
The only-all water cavern is covered with stalactites and stalagmites. According to the site- ocean explorer, “A stalactite is an icicle-shaped formation that hangs from the ceiling of a cave and is produced by precipitation of minerals from water dripping through the cave ceiling. Most stalactites have pointed tips.
A stalagmite is an upward-growing mound of mineral deposits that have precipitated from water dripping onto the floor of a cave. Most stalagmites have rounded or flattened tips.”
When these two mineral deposits grow together and touch, they form another formation called a column.
In Penn’s cave, you can witness some interesting shapes like Garden of the Gods, Statue of Liberty, Dinosaurs, and Buddha. Let your imagination to play around.
Everyone in your family has something to pick from the services offered by Penn’s Cave
- Cave Tour
- Farm – Nature Wildlife Tour
- Miners Maze
- Cave Rock Mountain Tour
- Gemstone Panning
We did cave tour and the Farm-Nature Wildlife tour
The cave tour is a 50-minute tour through the cavern by boat. We were taken in a flat motorboat and it is a guided tour where the tour guide explains about the formation of the cave and the columns in the cave.
The cave maintains a constant temperature around 50 and it was cold. They have spotlights inside the cave which will be operated by the guides. We saw the Garden of the Gods, Statue of Liberty, Dinosaurs, lion, and heart inside the cave. There was a light show inside the cave, where the formations are illuminated by the colorful lights. You can demand your favorite color once again with the guide. We were taken to the manmade lake through the exit at the far end of the cave. One could view the sunlight in the pitch darkness through the exit and the breeze was really cold near the exit due to the wind circulation.
It’s is advised to bring your jackets as it is cold inside the cave. Wear sturdy shoes. You got to bend down yourself when the boat passes through the narrow pass inside the cave.
Once done with the cave tour, we did tour the Farm and Nature wildlife. We were initially taken in carts to a small hill where we were asked to board the bus. The bus took us through the 1600 acres of farmland where the animals are carefully prevented inside their nested areas. The tour guides were so friendly with the animals that upon her request, the wolves came near to the fence so that we can have a glimpse of them. In fact, they had names and the guides treated them as their own.
We saw elks of all ages, wolves and its family, fox, White-faced deer, bisons, cattle and mountain lion on the tour. The tour was for an hour and on completion of the tour, we visited the gift shop which sold gems and various kinds of gem gifts
There was a gemstone panning area in front of the gift shop. One can buy a bag of mine from the shop and pan them in the panning area. Each bag contains gem of some types and hence, every bag is worth to buy it.
There were many kids who were playfully panning their bags and discovering the gems they got as water flushed away the dirt from it.
We didn’t do Cave Mountain tour which is a two hours’ drive from caves to the mountain tops and requires prior registration. It’s fully guided tour taken around in Jeeps. We didn’t do considering the difficulty Amma would face while climbing through obstacles to reach Mountaintop.
We are not a big fan of Maze but heard that’s a very interesting fun spot to hang out, especially with kids.
There was an old machinery Nittany Mountain antique show happening nearby to the cave. Being a prop hoarded, we visited the shops based on my wish and bought a rustic mug for food photography.
We returned to burgh around dinner time and slept peacefully after enjoying the day at the caves.
- Register in prior for the tours.
- Wear jacket during cave tour as the temperature inside the caves is usually around 50
- Wear sturdy shoes
- The entrance to the cave tour is not wheelchair accessible. One has to climb down few steps to reach the entrance of the cave tour
- Parking space is available in plenty in the premises
- There are no food outlets nearby other than the café in the gift shop
- Use the flashlight for photographing inside the cave. Cameras are allowed inside the cave