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Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York

 Article and photos by Persis Granger

Hugging a child on trail near Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York
A hug on the trail
“Char-lie, wait for meeee!” The chipmunk-cheeked five-year-old had been left in his brother’s dust.

The slender eight-year-old with wispy white-blond hair, paused farther down the trail, tapped his toe and said, “Come on, Will. There’s a neat cave up here. I’m going inside!”

In short order, the two towheads, now together, scampered down the well-traveled path dappled in hot summer sunlight, and disappeared into the cool, damp recesses of a small, gently lit cave.

It was our grandsons’ second annual trip to Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York, once a farm given to a Revolutionary War soldier as payment for his military service. In the course of more than two centuries since then, many generations of his family have lived here. In the 1950s, one of them, Lydia Neubeck opened the caves to the public, and in the 1950s incorporated the attraction. It has been a popular tourist site ever since.  

Sign for Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York
 Sign for bridge and caves 
The unique character of this property was recognized as far back as the early 1800s, as can been seen in the 1813 and 1824 Gazateers of the State of New York, and again in 1880, in French’s Gazateer, which references a description of the caves in Morse’s 1796 Geography. 

The geologic feature that intrigues and astounds visitors is what has been described as a “massive stone bridge arch – the largest marble cave entrance in the east.” At up to 180' wide and 62' high, it may be just that, and side by side with the marble is pink granite gneiss.  Potholes, grottos, a gorge and waterfalls add to the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the property. The stream that flows through it, changes from season to season, and markers show how high water has risen when spring floodwaters rage through the gorge.


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Inside Noisy cave at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York
Noisy Cave
On our treks around the attraction, the boys were less interested in history and geology than in their own adventure of discovery, the challenge of following signs to Noisy Cave, seeing pennies that someone had tossed into one of the pot holes hollowed in rock by the rotating motion of loose stones whirled about by flowing water. They don’t need to know all the technical information to delight in the trail and the marvelous mysteries found around each curve of the trail.  

Natural Stone Bridge and Caves is located in the Lake George Region of New York’s Adirondack Mountains, easily accessed by scenic state highways, or, for those on a tight schedule, by the Adirondack Northway, I-87. No reservations are necessary for your self-guided tour, but you should plan at least an hour and a half for your stay, especially if you’d like to spend time in the gift shop, or the rock shop adjacent to it.

Rock shop at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York panning  at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York
NSB Rock Shop NSB Panning

adventures  at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York
NSB tour adventures
Some visitors who seek a more in depth experience opt to reserve spots on a guided adventure tour, with some real spelunking. Be sure to check the website for available days and hours to reserve a spot on one of the three to four-hour staff-guided “Adventure Tours,”available Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  

Family poses at cave man stature at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York
Trio With Cave Man
Our little guys were happy just self-guiding on the above-ground tour, and experimenting with the walking sticks available for use along the trail. Sticks were soon cast aside, as they slowed Charlie and Will’s progress toward their inevitable destination, the rock shop.  They moved from bin to bin, fascinated by the polished and rough stones there, unable to resist touching them. Eventually they migrated to the Mexican geodes, the ugly ducklings of the stone population. Who could imagine that the mottled rough exterior encased a hollow rimmed with agate and quartz crystals. They selected their geode and left it to be cut with the rock shop’s diamond saw, returning a few minutes later to admire the transformation.

Charlie has developed quite an interest in stones since visiting the caves, and we attribute that fascination to his visits to Natural Stone Bridge and Caves. He even went so far as to take a sack of polished stones on a recent family airline flight. We suppose the airline security folks have seen stranger things.

Waterfalls at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves in Pottersville, New York
NSBwaterfalls
If you have time on your next North Country visit, do take time to visit the caves in Pottersville. Take your camera to snap pictures of the amazing scenery, or perhaps even local cavemen.  Remember to carry an extra layer of clothing for the changeable mountain weather, and perhaps a walking stick—unless you think it will slow you down. Before going check the website, www.stonebridgeandcaves.com, for the schedule, or to reserve a spot on a guided tour, or even look into a winter snowshoeing expedition and rental cabin. And don’t miss Pottersville’s other attraction, the unforgettable Railroads on Parade.

 

 

 

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