Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park


The massive stone bridge arch - the largest marble cave entrance in the east - dominates this spectacular display of Adirondack geology. Originally named Ponte de Dios (Bridge of God) by explorers and later described in Morse’s Geography of 1790, the stone bridge has captivated visitors for over 200 years. Unlike the slow forming limestone caverns, these marble caves were rapidly formed during the last ice age (10-13,000 years ago) by an unusual East-West trending fault which exposed a layer of ancient marble (over 1 billion years old) to raging acidic floodwaters from melting glaciers.  Baby caves made from ancient rock.

Take a walking stick, map, and camera and set out on a self-guided, above-ground, natural stone step nature trail and experience up-close the many unique rock features in the marble gorge, such as potholes, grottos, and mill site waterfalls. Descend into lighted surface caves with raging waterfalls or tranquil dark pools. Cavers are currently completing a survey of the cave systems and the owners have developed an “adventure tour” to explore additional caves for those willing to crawl and get a bit dirty – only to get rinsed off with the final “cave float”.

The property continues to be managed by relatives of Jacob Van Benthuysen who received the site in the 1700's for Revolutionary War service. Every year, new hands-on activities are added to enhance the park and educational experience. After exploring the caves, relax in one of our large family swings or enjoy homemade fudge in our wooded picnic areas. To learn more, see our Adirondack memories display or view a free PBS video describing the history and geology of the caves.

An extensive Rock Shop offers many fine crystals, gems, fossils and bookends. In addition, 8 diamond saws and 3 rock poppers are available to open Mexican geodes, each one a treasure with agate designs or crystals. Other activities and fun for the kids include: Gemstone Mining, Gold Rush Mine, Crystal Quest Mine, Caveman Challenge Bouldering Wall, 18 hole Stone Bridge Disc Golf Course, fish feeding, jewelry making, decorating walking sticks or uncovering ancient bones in our Dino Dig and our new Butterfly Box Display. Food service includes a snack bar with sandwiches and drinks at the caves facility and  > 40 flavors of soft ice-cream at our Rt 9 Stone Bridge Ice Cream Stand and Artisan Gallery.   Grills and pavilions are also available. The facilities are a great site for birthday parties or corporate events (inquire for special pricing or after hours availability). Cabins are also available for rent.

Now open during the winter for Snowshoe Trails, including views of the massive Stone Bridge entrance, frozen waterfalls, sinkholes, Trout Brook and many scenic summit views.  Over 12 miles of trails and soon some to be converted to cross country trails.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 43.7476611 Longitude: -73.8519859 Elevation: 964 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Greg Beckler

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Season And Hours Open

Summer Standard Self-Guided Cave Tours

Open Daily.  Please arrive 90 min before closing

Late May - Early Sep

9am-5pm

 Fall (Early Sep - early Oct)

10am-5pm

Summer Guided Adventure Tours (by Prior Reservation Only)    

JULY & AUGUST ONLY   (One tour each Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun at 12:30 - 4pm ONLY)   

Winter Snowshoe Self-Guided Tours

Dec 15 - Mar 31 (weather/snow permitting)

10am-4pm (Fri-Sunday Only)

Winter Guided Snowshoe Tours Tours

6pm (One Tour ONLY, SATURDAY ONLY,  arrive by 5:30pm)

ATTRACTION CLOSED

MID OCT - MID DEC

APRIL - LATE MAY

Don't Miss This When Visiting

  • Take time to read the 20 interpretive signs along the tour to learn fascinating facts about the caves, you'll even discover this property has a long family history of stewardship dating back to the Revolutionary War!
  • Our rock shop is extensive and has become a destination in itself over the years.
  • Remember to stop at Ice Cream Stand & Artisan Gallery just 2.5 miles away at the corner of Stone Bridge Rd and St Rt 9 to try one of our 46 flavors of soft ice cream.
  • Great site for birding along the trails.  Look for Kingfishers, Osprey, Pileated Woodpeckers and more.
  • Enjoy our fish pond with Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, Bullhead and lots of frogs, newts, and even a couple of snapping turtles.  Fish food available at the shop.

Identify And Describe The Management Organization

This is a family owned and managed corporation.  While incorporated in 1954, the property has been owned by family lines since the revolutionary war.  The owners still live in a house that was originally built in the late 1780s.  Many generations of local residents have worked at the caves which until two years ago was strictly a seasonal business.  We are now open during the winter months offering snowshoe trails and tours.

Additional Notes

Self-guided hiking of tour (3/4 mile).

Guided Adventure Tour (3-4 hours with hiking, crawling and cave float)

Bouldering Walls (two)

18 Hole Disc Golf Course

Over 12 miles of Snowshoe Trails in winter.

We are located at the end of Stone Bridge Rd, only 2 miles from the southbound exit 26 of I 87 and 2.5 miles from St Rt 9.   Note, this is a split exit for I-87, and if coming from the south and getting off the northbound exit (you are 3 miles away) - take a left off the exit ramp onto Valley Farm Rd.   This dead ends into St Rt 9 and take a right (Black Bear Restaurant is on your right) and go north through the town of Pottersville (the new Railroads On Parade Attraction is on your left) and then stay right at the split (located at the historic Wells House lodging/restaurant) and go up the hill and take a left onto Stone Bridge Rd at the big yellow sign for Natural Stone Bridge and Caves. Keep on going till you see the 1950s Burma Shave type signs that say:; Traveler Keep A-coming, Enjoy This Byway, Couldn't Move the Cave, To the Big Highway.  Go around the corner and you are here!
Pets:  we have 2 dog kennels as pets are not allowed on the cave tour.

 

Fees

yes

ADA Accessible

no

Tours Are Offered

yes

Site is Child-friendly

yes

Site is Pet-friendly

yes

Comments

I grew up around this park and it's wonderful! Greg is doing wonderful things with it. A most see along the Northway!

Judy WIlliams, 5/19/2011

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