By Erika Owen
Updated: January 24, 2017
CNY Collection / Alamy

Tourists will soon have the opportunity to explore a section of New York’s Howe Caverns that has been shut off to the public since 1900. Starting May 3, the 2.5-hour Signature Rock Discover Tour will guide adventurous visitors through the same passages farmer Lester Howe explored when he discovered the cave 172 years ago.

What to expect on the tour: “Signature Rock,” where visitors from over 100 years ago signed their names; a waterfall; remains of the cave’s original tour boat; and “Music Hall,” the part of the cave that produces the best echoes. Visitors must be older than 14 and will be required to wear some protective gear (boots, helmets, headlamps, waterproof suits), but no professional spelunking training is necessary. That being said, come prepared for tight spaces, walking through water, and unlit caves.

The attraction currently ranks as the state’s second most-visited hot spot outside of NYC, with 200,000 visitors every year—following the one and only Niagara Falls. Head on over to the Howe Caverns website for more up-to-date information regarding the new tour.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at T+L. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.