The Clarksville Caves are located off Tarrytown Rd. along the Delaware Turnpike in Clarksville, NY. The cave has three entrances, but we used the Gregory entrance (the most popular) as it has a parking lot and changing facilities. The cave is 4800 feet long and very straight, but that does not mean that it is easy! You will need a helmet and at least 3 light sources to get in and get out of the cave safely! We bashed our heads many, many times wiggling through the narrow passages. The entrance is just a small hole in the ground but there is a trail leading to it. Wiggle through the small hole and you'll notice a huge temperature change from the outside temperature. Be sure to wear a fleece sweatshirt, warm pants and sturdy boots. Coveralls would be nice, but we got away with duct taping our pants cuffs and sleeves closed so that they would not ride up as you are crawling around. You WILL get wet and muddy during this outing! Most of the trip follows an underground river. If you are really adventurous, bring your scuba gear!
Also, bring a change of clothes and a garbage bag to put all your wet muddy clothes into! A towel and some water will also be helpful to clean up with once you get out. There is not really a map for the cave that is useable, but there is a good overview at the website: (http://www.necaveconservancy.org/). It is really a straight in and straight out endeavor. Having said that, take a moment every few minutes to turn around a take a look behind you so you will know what the cave looks like when you are heading out. Also, take a minute to turn off all your light sources to see what absolute darkness looks like!
One of the land managers for the cave asked that we remove specific directions to this cave, and we have done so. Please see http://www.necaveconservancy.org for procedures on visiting, and, information about this cave. Note: the above web-site indicates no permit is required, and that information is at their kiosk, however, no directions to the kiosk are provided. This likely means that although the cave is open to the public, the local caving association might like to know about your visit. Please respect this, as these groups have worked very hard to conserve North East cave systems and keep them intact.
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